The new centre will help Airbus develop zero-carbon technologies for several aircraft currently under development
Airbus is strengthening its presence in the UK with the launch of a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies based at Filton in Bristol. A priority for the centre will be the development of a cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system, which is required for the entry into service of the Airbus ZEROe passenger aircraft by 2035.
Technology development at ZEDC has already started and will cover the full product capabilities from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing. End-to-end fuel systems development, a speciality of Airbus in the UK, is one of the most complex technologies crucial to the performance of a future hydrogen aircraft.
The new UK centre complements Airbus’s ongoing work on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks being undertaken at the company’s existing ZEDCs in Spain, France and Germany (which specialise in composite and metallic structure technologies). Ground testing of the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank is expected during 2023, and flight testing in 2026.
The UK ZEDC will benefit from the recent commitment by the UK Government to guarantee £685m of funding to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) over the next three years to support the development of zero-carbon and ultra-low-emission aircraft technologies. The launch of the facility follows the opening of the £40m AIRTeC research and testing centre in Filton in June 2021, jointly funded by the ATI and Airbus.