Back to Squawk list
  • 27

Rolls-Royce Achieves Controlled Hydrogen Burn

Rolls-Royce says it has run a modified version of a standard jet engine at takeoff power using hydrogen for fuel. The company said it’s a key accomplishment in developing future carbon-free designs that can power future aircraft. “This involved overcoming significant engineering challenges as hydrogen burns far hotter and more rapidly than kerosene,” Rolls-Royce said. The tests were carried out on a modified Pearl 700 engine. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

carpetshoe 4
Alright, don’t mind my previous comment. It seems that the test was performed with pure hydrogen. Cool!
w2bsa 4
It seems that there is one consistent naysayer who criticizes everything everyone has said in the article. Frankly, I don’t listen to folks who do that.
Billy Koskie 2
The density of energy in hydrogen drastically limits what it can be used for. You'll need a plane the size of an A380 to get the range and payload of a region jet. It's hard to beat hydrocarbons for energy density.
zahid major 2
Nice innovation in jet engine fuel....
carpetshoe 2
Is this a test with a hydrogen composition of 100% (or at least relatively close to it)? The article doesn’t appear to say anything about this so I wonder if anyone else knows. Thanks!
coinflyer 1
The article stated "Newly developed fuel spray nozzles mix air with the hydrogen at precise levels to control the burn rate." What those "precise levels" are was not mentioned.
carpetshoe 1
Thanks for the reply. Indeed, I figured that refers to the air fuel ratio. But what the fuel composition is remains a bit opaque for me. Perhaps that’s the reason that they don’t say it outright?
Jerry Hargis 2
btweston 3
Yes, some people endeavor to remain so open-minded that their brains fall out.
w2bsa 2
I’m sure that Rolls Royce isn’t going to spill all of the beans on their engine! Remember, they are in this to make money off of this engine should it prove completely successful.
bobinson66 0
I had to Google it but Hydrogen won't burn without oxygen.
Philip Lanum 1
Are you trying to say that Hydrogen will not burn without adding Oxygen?
The free Oxygen in Earth's atmosphere is not enough to allow for combustion?
Wait - What?
Eric Rindal 1
Hydrogen rides in the fuselage, Passengers in the wings :)
dilkie 0
great news... only real issue with H2 as a fuel is it's density. Far less energy/kg than hydrocarbons and the only way to store as a gas (cryogenic cooling to a liquid doesn't seem feasible) is very high pressure (heavy) or hydride storage (again, somewhat heavy).

But we're humans, super smart at solving problems.
Reginald Caton 0
They do say that the spray nozzles mixed the hydrogen with air to control the burn rate so it wasn't pure hydrogen but diluted with air.
btweston 4
Yeah I think I heard somewhere that oxygen is important when it comes to combustion.
Philip Lanum 2
Phillip Reed 2
Well, jet fuel is diluted with air before burning as well, so I guess that's OK.
Pete Perez -1
First off as a chemical, hydrogen needs oxygen to act as a fuel. I'm sure there's plenty in the atmosphere to do the job. Second once Quantum computing becomes a reality experiments like this will be a thing of the past. I suspect that RR is trying to get ahead of the game. Fossil fuels will be a thing of the past. Hydrogen is the future for long distance travel, unless we find a lighter more efficient battery. What we believe today in aviation will change with the utilization of Quantum computing. What took years will take days to understand.
F Minook -1
This is for [email protected] in the comment section. Your comment is so wise. The other problem is that hydrogen combines with oxygen which produce water (h2o). You stated that the heat produced by the "burn" is a good. That is a true statement. The heat need to be "harnessed" to produce steam propulsion (like in trains).
jmilleratp 0
Rolls-Royce is also one of the companies working on Small Modular Reactors, small nuclear reactors that can be manufactured and installed at sites, instead of the larger reactors where everything must be assembled on site. The UK will get Rolls-Royce's first two SMR's around 2029.
Philip Lanum -1
And this applies to using Hydrogen as a fuel in airplanes ---- how?
jmilleratp 2
Well, for those interested in science and not trolling, this shows that Rolls-Royce is involved in advancing technologies.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.