Airbus has launched a new centre based in the UK that will focus on hydrogen technologies for aircrafts.
One of the priorities of the Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC), which will be based in Filton, Bristol, will be the development of a cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system required for Airbus’ ZEROe passenger aircraft by 2035.
It will also help accelerate UK skills and know-how on hydrogen propulsion technologies.
Technology development at the new centre has already started and will cover full product capabilities, from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing.
The ZEDC complements Airbus’ existing Research and Technology footprint in the UK, as well as the work on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks being done at Airbus’ existing ZEDCs in Spain and Germany (composite structure technologies) and in France and Germany (metallic structural technologies).
All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank in 2023 and first flight testing starting in 2026.
The UK ZEDC will benefit from the UK Government’s £685 million commitment for the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) over the next three years to support the development of zero carbon and ultra-low emission aircraft technologies.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer said: “Establishing the ZEDC in the UK expands Airbus’ in-house industrial capabilities to design, develop, test and manufacture cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks and related systems for the ZEROe project across Airbus’ four home countries.
“This, coupled with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to leverage our respective expertise to realise the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.”