AEROSPACE | 26.02.2024

Interested in sustainable aviation technology? Today, we present a milestone overview of Airbus’ ZEROe project: Development of the world’s first hydrogen-powered and emission free aircraft and put it in the skies by 2035!

ZEROe project milestones

    • Aug 2020: Announcement of the ambition to develop the world’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2035.
    • Sep 2020: Presentation of 4 hydrogen-powered aircraft concepts (3 with hybrid-hydrogen engines providing thrust, liquid hydrogen storage and distribution system. 1 with fully electrical propulsion system using fuel cells.
    • Oct 2020: Company formation of Aerostack to research, develop and assembly power-generating fuel cell stacks needed to be used for megawatt levels of power.
    • Jun 2021: Establishment of ZEROe Development Centers (ZEDC) in Germany and France to work on cost-competitive cryogenic tank manufacturing.
    • Feb 2022: Introducing the ZEROe demonstrator A380 MSN001 as a flight laboratory platform and test aircraft for new hydrogen technologies. It will accommodate test instrumentation, such as fuel-cell engine pod.
    • Nov 2022: Airbus reveals development of hydrogen-powered zero emission engine as potential solution to equip its future emission free aircraft.
    • Jun 2023: Successful test campaign of the hydrogen fuel cell system with 1.2 megawatts takes place in Germany at the E-Aircraft System House (EAS).
    • Nov 2023: Using a modified glider, Airbus UpNext’s project Blue Condor makes first hydrogen-powered flight test over Nevada, U.S.A to compare its emissions to a similar-sized kerosene engine.
    • Dec 2023: The “iron pod” (hydrogen-propulsion system) is powered on at 1.2 megawatts with hydrogen fuel cells for the first time.
    • Jan 2024: Opening of another ZEDC for hydrogen technologies at Stade (DE) site to work on cost-competitive lightweight hydrogen systems.


What’s next?

The fuel cell propulsion system needs to be optimized to be installed on the ZEROe multimodal flight test platform A380 MSN001. In flight testing is planned for 2026.


© Airbus SAS
Source: Press releases published in Airbus’ Newsroom

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