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TOULOUSE/SINGAPORE: Airbus is to use an A380 aircraft to test a GE Passport engine to run on hydrogen in preparation for entry-into-service of a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

The collaboration with CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, will ground and flight test the aircraft equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany.

“By leveraging the expertise of American and European engine manufacturers to make progress on hydrogen combustion technology, this international partnership sends a clear message that our industry is committed to making zero-emission flight a reality,” declared Airbus CTO Sabine Klauke.

Earlier this month the manufacturer signed a cooperation agreement with Changi Airport Group, global industrial gases and engineering company Linde and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to see how hydrogen can be transported, stored and delivered to aircraft at existing and new airports.

Airbus will provide characteristics on aircraft configuration and fleet energy usage, insight on hydrogen-powered aircraft for ground operations, and data on the estimated hydrogen aircraft ramp-up at airports.

“The Asia-Pacific region will play a key role as we work towards making climate-neutral aviation a reality,” said Klauke. “By partnering with Changi Airport and with Incheon Airport, [we] will leverage the operational and technical expertise of two of the world’s leading hubs. The studies we will carry out together reflect the need for a cross-sectoral approach, including manufacturers, airlines, regulators, airports, energy providers and academia. We need bold and coordinated action to achieve our goals,” she added.

In 2020 Airbus launched its ‘Hydrogen Hub at Airports’ programme to begin research into infrastructure requirements and low-carbon operations and has since signed agreements in Paris, Seoul and Singapore.
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