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Rolls-Royce of the United Kingdom has successfully ran an aeroplane engine on hydrogen, a world aviation first that takes a significant step toward showing the gas might be critical to decarbonizing air travel.

According to the British business, the ground test, which employed a modified Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine, utilised green hydrogen generated by wind and tidal power.

Rolls-Royce and its testing partner, easyJet, are attempting to demonstrate that hydrogen can safely and effectively power civil aircraft engines.

They stated that they were already preparing a second series of testing, with the long-term goal of conducting flying tests.

Hydrogen is one of several competing technologies that might assist the aviation industry in meeting its goal of being net zero by 2050.

Airbus is collaborating with French-American engine manufacturer CFM International to test hydrogen propulsion technologies.

In February, it announced plans to install a specially customised version of a current generation engine towards the tail of an A380 superjumbo test jet.

However, the aircraft maker informed the European Union in 2021 that most airliners would continue to use traditional jet engines until at least 2050.

A transition to hydrogen-powered engines would necessitate a major redesign of airframes and airport infrastructure.

According to Eric Schulz, CEO of SHZ Consulting, the modifications in design are so significant that it would take more than one generation of aircraft to get there.

Electric engines, which would initially be appropriate for short flights, and sustainable aviation fuel are two more technologies supported by firms such as Rolls-Royce (SAF).

Existing engines can run on a combination of SAF and conventional fuels, although it is only available in trace amounts at the moment.

It might ultimately be made by mixing carbon collected from the atmosphere with green hydrogen, but the method is energy demanding and not yet widely available. 


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