April 13, 2024
CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint-stock company established by GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, and Airbus have signed an agreement to collaborate on the hydrogen demonstration program to be held in the mid-2020s.
The program aims to test a hydrogen-powered direct-combustion engine on the ground and in flight, in preparation for the commissioning of a zero-emissions aircraft by 2035.
CFM will replace the combustion chamber, fuel system and control system of a GE PassportTM turbo fan to run on hydrogen. This engine assembled in the USA; It was chosen because of its physical size, advanced turbo machinery and fuel flow capacity. The engine will be mounted on the aft fuselage of the flight test platform so that engine emissions, including traces of condensation, can be monitored separately from the emissions of the engines powering the aircraft. CFM will conduct an extensive ground test program prior to flight testing with the A380 flight test platform.
The program will use an A380 flight test platform equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks, prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany. Airbus will determine the requirements for the hydrogen propulsion system, oversee the flight test and will provide an A380 platform to test the hydrogen combustion engine while cruise.
Gaël Méheust, CFM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Hydrogen combustion capability is one of the core technologies we are developing and maturing as part of the CFM RISE Programme. “With the combination of capabilities and experience from CFM, our parent companies and Airbus, we have a really great team that can successfully introduce our hydrogen propulsion system.”
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technology Officer, said: “This is the most important step at Airbus to usher in a new era in hydrogen-powered aircraft since our ZEROe concepts were unveiled in September 2020.” “This international partnership, which draws on the experience of engine manufacturers in America and Europe to advance hydrogen combustion technology, sends a clear message that our industry is committed to achieving zero-emission flights.”
CFM set Airbus’s Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions in the aviation industry by 2050 in October 2021 to make zero-emission aircraft a reality by developing and testing the technology needed within the ambitious timeframe. He shares his determination to keep his promise.
Together, CFM, GE and Safran Aircraft Engines maintain a deep-rooted relationship with Airbus, and these partners demonstrate an excellent track record in providing high-performance products that meet the needs of airline customers.

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