Rolls-Royce and EasyJet test hydrogen-powered jet engine

29 Nov 2022

Image: © jetcityimage/

The ‘landmark achievement’ brings Rolls-Royce one step closer to the possibility of emissions-free flights using green hydrogen.

In a boost for hydrogen’s bid to become the zero-carbon fuel of the future, scientists at Rolls-Royce have partnered with EasyJet to successfully test a modern aero engine running on hydrogen.

The ground test conducted in the UK used a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine and fuelled it with green hydrogen generated by wind and tidal power.

The success of the test, the first of many, could pave the way for hydrogen to one day replace conventional kerosene-based aircraft fuels and prevent more carbon emissions from being pumped into the atmosphere.

“The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone,” said Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini.

“We only announced our partnership with EasyJet in July and we are already off to an incredible start with this landmark achievement. We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero-carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.”

With the early-concept ground test now complete, the two companies now plan a series of further rig tests, leading up to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.

“This is a real success for our partnership team,” added EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren.

“We are committed to continuing to support this groundbreaking research because hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including EasyJet-sized aircraft. That will be a huge step forward in meeting the challenge of net zero by 2050.”

Hydrogen is being explored in projects around the world as a way to cut aviation industry emissions.

In Ireland, ESB and Shannon Airport joined hands earlier this month to explore the development of a sustainable green hydrogen plant at the airport to demonstrate the use of hydrogen in aviation and other related industries.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic