Rolls-Royce: Artist’s impression of hydrogen engine ground test.

Rolls-Royce Directing EU Research into ‘Sustainable Aviation’

Oct. 3, 2022
The jet-engine builder has the lead for three projects among numerous efforts to receive nearly $700 million as the European Union seeks progress for sustainable propulsion and decarbonization in civil aerospace.

Rolls-Royce plc will be leading three technology development programs under the European Union’s Clean Aviation program, and acting as a partner in six more programs, which are targeted at accelerating research into sustainable propulsion and decarbonization in civil aerospace. The EU recently approved funding of more than €700 million (est. $688 million) for a 20 such projects.

The Clean Aviation program seeks to demonstrate improvement in civil aircraft sustainability performance during the next decade and show progress toward climate neutrality by 2050.

The three programs that Rolls will lead are:
  HEAVEN (Hydrogen Engine Architecture Virtually Engineered Novelly) – which will “significantly develop” Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan geared-turbofan engine architecture and technology suite for civil aviation projects, and offer a stage for hydrogen and hybrid-electric technology to be incorporated into Rolls’ civil aerospace programs.

This research consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, includes academic, research, and industrial partners in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and the U.K. This

 The HE-ART (Hybrid Electric propulsion system for regional AiRcrafT research consortium will seek to demonstrate enabling technologies for hybridization by carrying out ground demonstration of a hybrid-electric thermal turboprop (e-TP), toward an optimized hybrid propulsion system for regional aircraft.

Members of this consortium will include academic, research, and industrial partners Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the U.K.

 The third Rolls-Royce led consortium – CAVENDISH (Consortium for the AdVent of aero-Engine Demonstration and aircraft Integration Strategy with Hydrogen) – will integrate liquid hydrogen systems into a modern donor engine for ground testing, and explore alternative enabling technologies in the form of a dual fuel combustor system, a cryo-compressed tank system, and define requirements and activities towards flight demonstration.

This consortium will include academic, research, and industrial partners from Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the U.K.

Alan Newby, Director of Aerospace Technology and Future Programmes, Rolls-Royce said: “We are delighted to be asked to proceed to grant preparation by the European Union’s Clean Aviation program. Rolls-Royce is focused on advancing sustainable power and propulsion systems and this will build on our existing expertise to help accelerate the technological breakthroughs that could help deliver net zero carbon by 2050 and transform the way that we travel.”