Airbus has created two zero-emission development centers in Bremen, Germany, and Nantes, France, to spearhead the company’s liquid metallic hydrogen (LH2) tanks research.
The Bremen team will focus on system installation and cryogenic testing of the tanks and will benefit from collaborations with the Centre for Eco-Efficient Materials and Technologies, also located in Bremen.
The Nantes team was selected for its expertise in metallic structure technologies and will focus on metallic and composite technologies and integration, as well as co-design activities on nacelle inlets, radomes, and center fuselage complex work packages.
Flight tests in 2025
LH2 is among the most promising of alternative aeronautics fuels but requires specific systems engineering. Notably, LH2 is cooled to under -250°C and subsequently stored in tanks for increased density benefit.
Airbus has targeted 2023 for the LH2 tanks to be operational and 2025 for their initial flight test.