Technology development

Airbus to open hydrogen technology development center in UK

Airbus has announced that it will open the so-called Zero Emission Development Center (ZEDC) in Philadelphia, UK, to upgrade technologies such as the low-cost cryogenic fuel system for its ZeroE hydrogen aircraft currently in production. development.

Britain’s ZEDC will benefit from the UK government’s recent commitment to raise £685 million for the Institute of Aerospace Technology (ATI) over the next three years to develop zero-carbon, low-emission aircraft. Airbus ZeroE program engineers have started developing a short-class hydrogen-powered aircraft that is expected to enter service in 2035.

“The establishment of ZEDC in the UK extends Airbus’ domestic industry capabilities to design, upgrade, test and manufacture cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks and related systems for the four Zero projects of Airbus,” said Sabine Clock, Airbus Chief Technology Officer. . “This, together with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to use our expertise to realize the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decorbonization of the aerospace industry.”

Airbus has started technology development at ZEDC UK and covers all industrial products and resources, from components to the entire system and cryogenic testing. The company calls the development of fuel systems “one of the most complex technologies for the performance of future hydrogen aircraft.” A new building is expected to be constructed near the Airbus fuel testing facilities. The company plans to employ around 50 people by 2024 in the early stages of its growth.

ZEDC operates on Airbus’ current research and technology track in the UK, works on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks, on Airbus’ current ZEDCs (hybrid construction technologies) in Germany and Madrid, and on Bremen (steel construction) in Nantes, France and Germany. Technologies). Airbus expects all of its ZEDCs to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with a fully operational cryogenic hydrogen tank from next year. The company plans to launch a tank test aircraft in 2026.

The UK ZEDC launch last June at Filton was dedicated to a £40 million AIRTeC research and test facility, wings, landing gear and fuel systems and jointly funded by ATI and Airbus.