Remember the pictures of the first computer the size of a big room? It’s the same for Airbus’ latest ZEROe hydrogen fuel-cell demonstrator engine. The countless components, plumbing, stacks, and electronics take up a significant part of the E-Aircraft System House (EAS) test facility on the Airbus Defence & Space site in Ottobrunn near Munich. But move fast forward three years, and the hydrogen fuel-cell engine should fit a normally-sized engine nacelle on the A380 flight test demonstrator aircraft. Just like how the room-sized computer nowadays fits into your smartphone. Airbus’ ZEROe engine works but needs some serious shrink-wrapping.

Airbus offered the media a chance to tour the test facilities and learn all about them on the second day of the Airbus Summit this week. On Day 1 in Toulouse, the airframer said that significant progress had been made on developing a 1 Megawatt electric engine that uses hydrogen and oxygen in fuel cells to generate electricity. On Day 2, the media saw the real thing, called the fuel cell iron pod.


Subscriber content – Sign in




%d bloggers like this: