Rolls-Royce tests hydrogen-powered jet engine in ‘new world first’

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC has hailed a test run of the world’s first hydrogen-powered jet engine as a “new aviation milestone”, suggesting a large step has been made towards the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

In partnership with EasyJet PLC, Rolls-Royce ran a converted regional aircraft engine fuelled by green hydrogen, made using tidal and wind energy from a European Marine Energy Centre facility on the Scottish Orkney Islands.

Having proven that hydrogen can “safely and efficiently” power civil aero engines, Rolls-Royce said in a press release that the second round of tests is already being planned, “with a longer-term ambition to carry out test flights” being the ultimate goal.

Commenting on the test, business secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is leading the global shift to guilt-free flying, and today’s test by Rolls-Royce and easyJet is an exciting demonstration of how business innovation can transform the way we live our lives.”

Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini added: “We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.”

Rolls-Royce’s share price was up 1% to 91p.

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