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Aerospace Manufacturers Collaborate on Liquid Hydrogen Fuel System for Zero-Emission Aircraft

25 Aug 2023

GKN Aerospace, Marshall Aerospace, and Parker Aerospace join forces to develop advanced fuel system for eco-friendly aviation.

Future of Zero-Emission Aircraft: In a groundbreaking collaboration, three leading aerospace manufacturers—GKN Aerospace, Marshall Aerospace, and Parker Aerospace—are teaming up to pioneer the development of a cutting-edge liquid hydrogen fuel system. This collaboration, fueled by a memorandum of understanding, aims to revolutionize aviation by creating a sustainable solution for zero-emission aircraft applications.

Versatile Fuel System: The trio of aerospace giants intends to design a versatile fuel system that can support both hydrogen-electric fuel cells and hydrogen combustion for aircraft propulsion. This innovative technology promises to reshape the aviation industry and significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

Advancements in Hydrogen Propulsion: GKN Aerospace is at the forefront of hydrogen propulsion advancements, spearheading the UK government-backed project known as H2GEAR. This initiative is focused on developing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, with plans to conduct ground tests of a 1MW-class system by 2025. GKN envisions scaling up this technology to power regional aircraft with a minimum of 100 seats. The possibility of utilizing the system for larger aircraft is also under consideration.

Collaboration for a Greener Future: At the recent Paris Air Show, GKN Aerospace formed a strategic partnership with Embraer to facilitate flight testing of the hydrogen propulsion system between 2028 and 2029. The ultimate objective is to unify the complete scalable fuel system and propulsion system in a single flight-testbed environment by the end of the decade.

Technological Expertise: Russ Dunn, Chief Technology Officer at GKN Aerospace, emphasized the significance of this collaboration. By leveraging the expertise of Marshall Aerospace and Parker Aerospace in the realm of fuel systems, GKN aims to expedite the development of critical technology components necessary for a comprehensive hydrogen propulsion system designed for mid-range aircraft.

Paving the Way for Zero-Emission Flight: Dunn stated, “With this [latest] agreement, we have now set out a complete path to achieving zero-emission flight at a game-changing scale.” The collaboration of these aerospace leaders marks a significant stride toward a greener and more sustainable future for aviation.

Innovative Milestones Ahead: As aerospace manufacturers unite their capabilities and insights, the journey toward a revolutionary liquid hydrogen fuel system gains momentum. With the potential to reshape the aviation landscape, this collaboration holds promise for a world where zero-emission flight becomes a reality.

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