CFM International
CFM will modify the combustor, fuel system, and control system of a GE Passport™ turbofan engine to run on hydrogen.

CFM, Pratt & Whitney Starting H2 Combustion Research

Feb. 23, 2022
Two demo projects are underway to develop and test high-efficiency hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology for wide-body and narrow-body commercial aircraft.

Jet engine manufacturer CFM International is partnering with Airbus to complete ground and flight tests for a hydrogen-fueled direct combustion engine. The demonstrations will be carried out during the mid-2020s, according to a joint statement, while the target for introducing a zero-emission aircraft is 2035.

CFM, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, will modify the combustor, fuel system, and control system of a GE Passport turbofan engine to run on hydrogen. The U.S.-built engine was selected because of its size, advanced turbo machinery, and fuel flow capability, according to CFM. It will be mounted along the rear fuselage of the flying testbed to allow engine emissions, including contrails, to be monitored separately from those of the engines powering the aircraft.

Extensive ground testing will precede the flight test on an Airbus A380 aircraft.

“Hydrogen combustion capability is one of the foundational technologies we are developing and maturing as part of the CFM RISE program. Bringing together the collective capabilities and experience of CFM, our parent companies, and Airbus, we really do have the dream team in place to successfully demonstrate a hydrogen propulsion system.,” stated CFM president and CEO Gaël Méheust.

At the same time, engine builder Pratt & Whitney announced it has been chosen to develop high-efficiency hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology for commercial aviation. The R&D is part of DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program.

The project, titled Hydrogen Steam Injected, Inter‐Cooled Turbine Engine (HySIITE), will use liquid hydrogen combustion and water vapor recovery to achieve zero in-flight CO2 emissions, while reducing nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80% and reducing fuel consumption by up to 35%, for single-aisle aircraft.

“Pratt & Whitney has a long legacy with hydrogen-fueled propulsion, and we are excited to advance this emerging technology as part of our comprehensive strategy to support the aviation industry’s ambitious goal of achieving net zero aircraft CO2 emissions by 2050,” stated Graham Webb, chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney.

Latest from News

David Tadevosian | Dreamstime
Aleksei Gorodenkov | Dreamstime
Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics | Chris Hanoch
Carlosphotos | Dreamstime