The decision of the European Union’s Clean Aviation Program to award more than €700 million in research funding comes as welcome news to manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce and its partners. Following the evaluations of the first call for proposals and a successful grant process, Rolls-Royce expects to be able to move forward on several programs, including three in which it will be the lead coordinator.
The Hydrogen Engine Architecture Virtually Engineered Novelly (Heaven) project will look to develop the company’s UltraFan design for future civil aviation opportunities and provide a platform to integrate hydrogen and hybrid-electric powered propulsion. A similar program, Hybrid Electric Propulsion System for Regional Aircraft (He-Art) from a consortium of companies based in 10 EU countries will focus on demonstrating technologies to ground test a hybrid-electric thermal turboprop on the path to creating an optimized hybrid propulsion system for future regional aircraft.
The final program, Cavendish—for Consortium for the Advent of Aero-engine Demonstration and Aircraft Integration Strategy With Hydrogen—will involve partners from Brazil and six European countries to integrate liquid hydrogen systems into a modern engine for ground testing.
Alan Newby, the engine maker’s director of aerospace technology and future programs noted, “Rolls-Royce is focused on advancing sustainable power and propulsion systems, and this will build on our existing expertise to help accelerate the technological breakthroughs that could help deliver net-zero carbon by 2050.”