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Rolls-Royce tests hydrogen-fueled aircraft engine in aviation world first

Successful ground test in the development of hydrogen power to cut carbon emissions.

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Enlarge / A Rolls-Royce hydrogen-fueled aircraft engine is tested at Boscombe Down in the UK. Flying is one of the most difficult industries to decarbonize, and hydrogen-powered aircraft are still years away from carrying a plane over long distances. (credit: Steve M. Smith / Rolls-Royce)

British engineer Rolls-Royce has successfully used hydrogen instead of conventional jet fuel to power a modern aircraft engine in a world first for the aviation industry, according to the company.

The ground test, which took place at a government test facility at Boscombe Down, used green hydrogen generated by wind and tidal power from the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Rolls-Royce used a converted AE 2100-A turboprop engine that powers civil and military aircraft to conduct the test in partnership with easyJet.

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