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Future enabLing technologies for hYdrogen-powered Electrified aero engine for Clean aviatiOn

Project description

A sustainable future with low-emission air travel

Aviation’s carbon footprint poses a critical challenge to global sustainability, with emissions soaring as air travel becomes increasingly prevalent. Traditional jet engines burn fossil fuels, releasing CO2 and NOx into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. The urgency to decarbonise this sector is palpable, demanding innovative solutions to curb its environmental impact. With this in mind, the EU-funded FlyECO project offers a pathway to low-emission air travel and sustainable growth. Through the integration of innovative technologies like solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and the use of hydrogen as energy carrier, the project targets a 50 % reduction in NOx emissions while eliminating CO2 emissions altogether. The project’s simulation framework will help refine the integrated power and propulsion systems architecture, moving towards real-world implementation. FlyECO will focus on commuter/regional aircraft.


FlyECO will deliver transformative technologies to support Integrated Power and Propulsion Systems (IPPS) that contributes to zero-emission and sustainable growth of aviation and has the potential to enable aviation climate neutrality by 2050. The utilization of hydrogen as sole energy source offers the opportunity to eliminate aviation CO2 emissions entirely. Furthermore, a reduction in NOx emissions of at least 50% is enabled by ingesting steam produced by a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) into the hydrogen-fuelled gas turbine (GT). FlyECO will develop a simulation and evaluation framework in which the optimal architecture definition of the IPPS, the key enabling integration technologies and necessary controls concepts can be explored, investigated closely and advanced towards TRL3 through Proof-of-Concept (PoC) demonstrators. A Commuter/Regional aircraft application was chosen as a use case to develop the propulsion system with more than one megawatt power. In particular, the energy management and distribution strategies will be developed for both quasi-steady-state and transient operation. In addition, PoC for the IPPS and the reduction in NOx emissions will be provided via two demonstrators: (1) a sub-structured test-rig emulating the cycle-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system and (2) a high-pressure combustor with steam ingestion. The outcome of FlyECO will be comprise of:
-An advanced simulation platform to analyse the impact of the SOFC integration on a hydrogen GT
-A validation methodology for novel energy and power management strategies for the IPPS architecture
-A controls approach for the IPPS, including specialised local control for components and subsystems as well as global control
-A set of key coupling technologies develop developed to enable the integration of the SOFC with a GT under consideration safe design process in aviation based on ARP 4754A
-An open-access database on hydrogen combustion with steam injection


Net EU contribution
€ 1 836 940,25
51147 Koln

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Köln, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 836 940,25

Participants (4)

Partners (1)