ZEDC will be the development of a cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system required for the Airbus’ ZEROe passenger aircraft by 2035.
The UK ZEDC will benefit from the recent commitment by the UK Government to guarantee £685 million 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.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, commented: “This, coupled with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to leverage our respective expertise to realize the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry.”
Technology development has started
Technology development at the new UK ZEDC, to be based in Filton, Bristol, has already started and will cover the full product and industrial capabilities from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing. End-to-end fuel systems development is complex and crucial to the performance of future hydrogen aircraft.
The ZEDC complements Airbus’ existing Research and Technology footprint in the UK, as well as the work on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks being done at Airbus’ existing ZEDCs in Madrid, Spain and Stade, Germany (composite structure technologies) and in Nantes, France and Bremen, Germany (metallic structural technologies). All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2026.
The launch of the UK ZEDC follows the opening of the £40 million AIRTeC research and testing facility in Filton in June 2021, jointly funded by the ATI and Airbus.