Airbus to develop hydrogen technologies at new UK research centre



Airbus is opening what it calls a ‘Zero Emission Development Centre’ (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies in the UK.

The centre will develop the cryogenic fuel system needed to enter Airbus’ ZEROe passenger aircraft into service by 2035.

A portion of the £685m funding guaranteed by the UK government to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) over the next three years will be given to ZEDC. 

Sabine Klauke, Airbus, chief technical officer, said: “Establishing the ZEDC in the UK expands Airbus’ in-house industrial capabilities to design, develop, test and manufacture cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks and related systems for the ZEROe project across Airbus’ four home countries. This, coupled with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to leverage our respective expertise to realise the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.”’

The centre, which will be based in Filton, Bristol, will cover everything from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing.

Airbus is also working on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks its existing ZEDCs in Madrid, Spain and Stade, Germany (composite structure technologies) and in Nantes, France and Bremen, Germany (metallic structural technologies). 

All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2026.