Intelligent Energy collaboration partner of GKN Aerospace in development of ground-breaking hydrogen propulsion system for aircraft
GKN Aerospace leads £54M collaborative H2GEAR programme, to push hydrogen technology and accelerate aerospace decarbonisation to zero emissions
Public-private investment and collaboration aims to create more than 3,000 UK roles
Entry-into-service of hydrogen-powered aircraft could be as early as 2026
Intelligent Energy aims to make East Midlands a centre of UK fuel cell manufacturing with expanded presence
Project will put Intelligent Energy, GKN Aerospace and the programme partners at the forefront of the next generation of sustainable aircraft technology.
Intelligent Energy, the UK based fuel cell engineering company, has been selected to develop and manufacture its lightweight and compact fuel cells for a ground-breaking UK collaboration programme, H2GEAR. The programme will develop a hydrogen propulsion system for sub-regional aircraft, the first for lead partner GKN Aerospace. Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation strategy of aviation as it can power aircraft efficiently, leaving water as the only by-product. H2GEAR puts GKN Aerospace, Intelligent Energy and their partners at the heart of the technology developments needed for the future of more sustainable aviation. The technology will first focus on significantly improving sub-regional aircraft hydrogen powered performance, in turn enabling applications on larger aircraft and longer journeys. The programme is supported by £27M of ATI funding, matched by GKN Aerospace, Intelligent Energy and the programme partners.
H2GEAR aims to develop a liquid hydrogen propulsion system for sub-regional aircraft that could be scaled up to larger aircraft. Liquid hydrogen is being converted to electricity within a fuel cell system. This electricity efficiently powers the aircraft, eliminating CO2 emissions. This would create a new generation of clean air travel, eliminating harmful CO2 emissions.
H2GEAR will reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of aerospace technology research and development. Intelligent Energy and GKN Aerospace will collaborate with Aeristech, Newcastle University, The University of Manchester and University of Birmingham throughout the programme, aiming to create more than 3,000 jobs in the next decade. The programme will be delivered from GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in Bristol, the company’s £32M brand-new collaborative space for research and development.