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Airbus, GE, Safran and CFM announce new hydrogen propulsion A380 demonstrator

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Airbus, GE, Safran and CFM announced earlier today that they’d be making use of a retired Airbus A380 to test new hydrogen propulsion technologies. (www.aviationweekly.org) Altro...

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sheepshagger99
Safer than a Lithium-ion battery on the Felicty Ace car carrier ......
volvodadfast
Maybe a completely hydrogen powered A380 is in the future?
mbrews
mbrews 8
It's an interesting concept demonstration. Basically will repurpose the retired A380 as a flying testbed for development. First project is to "hang" a (small) GE Passport turbofan engine somewhere on the big jet for the testing.

Turbofan to be fueled from liqiud hydrogen tanks in the body of the whale sized jet.

As many readers know, GE Aviation owns and operates a 747 and has used it to test various new engines.
xtoler
The A380 has more internal capacity than a 747 so it makes sense to me to use an A380 for something other than an expensive paperweight sitting in storage.
markmongold
The image I saw had the hydrogen tanks on the outside, hung below the test engine. Did not seem like internal capacity was the issue at all.
JamieJ531
The image you saw was an x-ray view into the plane to show were the tanks will be installed in inside the fuselage. The tanks will not be mounted on the outside.
21voyageur
Considering Airbus is a partner in this effort, I think the internal capacity is irrelevant. Doubt that Airbus would have accepted a Boeing testbed. BTW, did you read the article or just the headline?
21voyageur
The A380 is EOL (end of life). Being used as a test bed much as we still see with pre-2000 airframes. Sad actually but at least she is in the air and being productive.
linbb
linbb 3
Well for many many years its been touted as the next great thing and still nothing but promises for that to happen. Strange but with free money to use is so far the only thing that has happened.

xtoler
I have to agree with you. I'm all for new technology and a better fuel source, but I'm sort of skeptical. It feels more like a feel good political move rather than real research.
w2bsa
w2bsa 3
They’re testing a non-carbon based fuel. If they find that it works then they have an immediate solution to aviation’s carbon emissions problem. Hope it works!!
21voyageur
My guess is that if there was not a strong degree of public interest in greener solutions, then the manufacturers and airlines would be happy to continue to incrementally improve what they understand - "dirty" fossil fuel based technology. Leap-frogs in aviation technology take a long time to be put into production and often only happens in reaction to a clear problem/deficiency (generally at the cost of human life). MH370 proved that in spades about tracking technology. My 2 cents.
hulakai
Actually... hydrogen in large quantities is made from natural gas unfortunately... and ironically.
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 2
If this is the next great thing then your about 40 years behind. Hydrogen has been tested for use in several different formats since the early 80s. I am a strong supporter of hydrogen fuel but it’s by no means new.
ADXbear
ADXbear 2
Awesome.... as Boeing slips further in the rear view mirror. We can only hope Boeing has its own secret hydrogen program going on, say at Palmdale CA.
bkoskie
A useless project. Hydrogen is low in energy per gallon. You'll have to use the entire fuselage as a fuel tank to put enough energy into the aircraft to get enough range to matter. I understand the attraction, but the application doesn't seem logical.
xtoler
Butless chemtrails in the Air make me feel like I can come out of my safe place. This makes me all warm and tingly.
On a serious note, the research would be interesting and why not make good use of an A380? I still think it's sort of a pipe dream. Hydrogen did not work out well with public transportation or when the US Army toyed with the idea in Humvees and the duece and a half replacement.
bkoskie
Yep. If the geniuses at Lockheed couldn't figure it out with Project Suntan before they redirected toward the A-12/SR-71, then I don't see the current crop doing better. The Skunkworks dropped if for the same reasons I noted. They couldn't build a flying thermos bottle big enough to get sufficient range.
harchh
Using liquid hydrogen is so cool.
hulakai
Fascinating project but I can't help but wonder if there's government money coming into this exercise to make it worthwhile financially or politically, because from a commercial standpoint hydrogen fuel isn't feasible. It's low energy density, the cost of electricity to produce it, the fact that its made from fossil fuel in large quantities...it just doesn't make a lot of sense, at least for the foreseeable future.

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