Development of the first hydrogen-powered aircraft engine with Spanish technology

The first hydrogen-powered aircraft engine is getting closer thanks to the first national consortium that has been formed for the use of hydrogen in aircraft propulsion systems.

Led by ITP Aero, this national consortium has been set up to develop the first hydrogen-powered aircraft engine, with the first tests scheduled for 2025.

The project has an investment of 12 million euros and involves companies and technology centres, as well as Spanish universities. The project is part of the Aeronautical Technology Plan managed by the Spanish Centre for Technological Development and Innovation, CDTI.

“This is a major technological milestone for having the first hydrogen-powered aircraft engine in Spain. This is a clear example of successful public-private collaboration, positioning the Spanish industry as a whole at the forefront of European testing of hydrogen-powered aircraft engines”, tells Jaime Fernández Castañeda

The project, called “Cryogenics, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Combustion in Air Transport” includes four research pillars, among which is the modification of an existing engine to operate on a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen.

Secondly, the development of technology for conditioning liquid hydrogen for transformation into gaseous hydrogen and its regulation for gas turbine use.

Whereas it also includes the development of a fuel cell propulsion system up to the first demonstrator including power electronics, an electric motor and a propulsion element (propeller or compressor) and basic hydrogen combustion research.

The project also includes the design and construction of a test bench to carry out tests on the engine at the INTA National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) facilities in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid).

In addition to ITP Aero, the consortium is made up of DESTINUS, AJUSA and AEROTECNIC. These companies will be supported by technology centres and universities belonging to their collaboration networks such as TECNALIA, INTA, as well as the National Hydrogen Centre.

Engr. Haseeb Ullah

Haseeb covers the global energy market for both conventional and modern energy resources. His expertise is on the global energy supply chain from generation to distribution and end-users. He has a Master degree in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
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