Manufacturer hopes the test programme will pave the way for zero-emissions aircraft by 2035
Airbus has announced plans to trial hydrogen fuel technology for its A380 superjumbos.
The manufacturer has partnered with CFM International to carry out a hydrogen demonstration programme that will eventually include test flights.
Under the ambitious plans, the combustor fuel system and control system of a turbofan engine will be modified to run on hydrogen, with the A380 being equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany.
The aircraft will keep its four conventional turbines, while a fifth engine, adapted for hydrogen will be mounted along the rear fuselage to allow emissions to be monitored separately from those of the engines powering the aircraft.
Ahead of the test flight, CFM will carry out a comprehensive ground test programme that will be overseen by Airbus.
Airbus chief technical officer Sabine Klauke said: “This is the most significant step undertaken at Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen-powered flight since the unveiling of our ZEROe concepts back in September 2020. By leveraging the expertise of American and European engine manufacturers to make progress on hydrogen combustion technology, this international partnership sends a clear message that our industry is committed to making zero-emission flights a reality.”
According to the manufacturer, test flights could begin as early as 2026.
For more information, visit www.airbus.com/en