Airbus to test hydrogen-powered engines on the A380

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Since Monday, February 21, Airbus announced that it would be making big news; at the time the only clue was that it would be related to its hydrogen-powered flight project. On February 22, the European manufacturer reported that it will begin testing hydrogen-powered engines on the largest passenger aircraft: the Airbus A380.


It has been known for years that changes must be made in the way aircraft are powered to reduce the pollution they produce. Following that idea, a few years ago, Airbus presented its ZEROe project, a family of aircraft powered at record speeds by hydrogen.

Through a live broadcast, Airbus reported that it will test hydrogen propulsion with none other than the A380. The European superjumbo will be equipped with a hydrogen engine created by CFM International; this engine is built in a collaboration between Safran (France) and General Electric (United States). This A380 will serve to develop a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

The A380 that will be converted into a test laboratory is the MSN 001, the first to come off the production line. This aircraft entered service in April 2005 as a regular test bed for Airbus in Toulouse. Thus, the A380, with which Airbus marked a milestone in its history, will probably serve as a milestone for the manufacturer and even for the industry in general.

Regarding the hydrogen-powered A380, Airbus Chief Technical Officer Sabine Klauke said:

This is the most significant step undertaken at Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen-powered flight. By leveraging the expertise of U.S. and European engine manufacturers to advance hydrogen combustion technology, this international partnership sends a clear message that our industry is committed to making zero-emission flight a reality.”


Airbus’ decision to test the hydrogen-powered airliner comes hand-in-hand with a recent commitment. In October 2021, the European manufacturer signed on to the Air Transport Action Group’s goal of making the industry zero carbon by 2050. Here is a video to show you how this A380 test aircraft will perform.

If you can’t see this video, please click here.

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    By: Ingrid Gil

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