Airbus is setting up a technology development center for hydrogen-powered aircraft in the UK, with significant funding from the country’s government.
The primary mission of the UK’s ZEDC (Zero Emissions Development Center) is to develop a cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system for storing liquid hydrogen at very low temperatures and then delivering it to the engines, designed for the Airbus Zero 2035 passenger aircraft and its successful commercialization.
The center, which is established in Felton, is responsible for the design, development, manufacture and testing of cryogenic tanks and related systems.
In addition, the center will help build the right UK knowledge and skills on hydrogen propulsion technologies.
British company ZEDC will receive £685 million in support from the UK government over the next three years from Airbus’ local partner, the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), to develop carbon-neutral, ultra-low-emissions aircraft technologies.
The European manufacturer also operates complementary development centers in Spain, France and Germany. The manufacturer’s specialists are working on the development of composite technologies in Madrid, Stade in Germany, Nantes and Bremen.
Airbus’ zero-emission development centers will begin ground testing of cryogenic hydrogen tanks next year, and the flight program will begin in 2026, according to the manufacturer’s plans. As we wrote earlier, Airbus is converting the MSN 001 A380 serial prototype into a technology demonstration.
Airbus and ATI have been working together since the summer of 2021, when they invested £40m in the AIRTeC Research and Test Center in Felton, which is designing a new generation of wings, landing gear and fuel systems.
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