Rolls-Royce and easyJet today confirmed they have set a new aviation milestone with the world’s first run of a modern aero engine on hydrogen.
The ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by
wind and tidal power. It marks a major step towards proving that hydrogen could be a zero carbon
aviation fuel of the future and is a key proof point in the decarbonisation strategies of both Rolls-
Royce and easyJet.
Both companies have set out to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for civil
aero engines and are already planning a second set of tests, with a longer-term ambition to carry out
The test took place at an outdoor test facility at MoD Boscombe Down, UK, using a converted Rolls-
Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine. Green hydrogen for the tests was supplied by EMEC
(European Marine Energy Centre), generated using renewable energy at their hydrogen production
and tidal test facility on Eday in the Orkney Islands, UK.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 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.
“This is a true British success story, with the hydrogen being used to power the jet engine today
produced using tidal and wind energy from the Orkney Islands of Scotland – and is a prime example
of how we can work together to make aviation cleaner while driving jobs across the country.”
Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Rolls-Royce, said: “The success of this hydrogen test is an
exciting milestone. 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.”
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “This is a real success for our partnership team. We are
committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking 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.”
Following analysis of this early concept ground test, the partnership plans a series of further rig tests
leading up to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.
The partnership is inspired by the global, UN-backed Race to Zero campaign that both companies
have signed up to, committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.