Paris, 19 June 2023 – MTU Aero Engines, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer, and aerospace company MT Aerospace are jointly developing a complete liquid hydrogen fuel system for commercial aviation. The partners announced the project today at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget. The first application will be MTU’s Flying Fuel Cell™.
“For many years, we have been connected not just by a successful partnership, but also by a shared vision of zero-emission flight,” explains Barnaby Law, Chief Engineer Flying Fuel Cell for MTU. About three years ago, they began jointly developing the LH2 fuel system for commercial aviation applications. The system consists of tanks, sensors, heat exchangers, valves, safety and control systems. And the work is going very well, says Law – by the end of the year, the first system will be tested at MT Aerospace in Augsburg.
“At MT Aerospace we have decades of expertise with hydrogen in the aerospace sector, and now we want to apply it to commercial aviation as well,” says Markus Staudt, Vice President and Head of Business Development Export, Defence & Hydrogen. The experts at the aerospace company are responsible for the cryogenic hydrogen storage and supply system, additively manufactured heat exchangers, sensors and system integration. “This expertise comes both from sustainable technology innovations and from a large number of product-based cryogenic system tests,” explains Dr. Günther Schullerer, Director of Engineering at MT Aerospace.
The safety system, control system and valve technology are all part of MTU’s work package, as well as the overall systems leadership. All of the work is done in close collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in order to fulfill the certification and safety-related requirements. Starting in 2035, the MTU fuel cell will be used on shorter routes in the shuttle and regional aviation sector. As its efficiency improves, it will then also fly short and medium-haul routes and further reduce the climate impact of commercial aviation. “With some minor modifications, the LH2 fuel system that is currently being developed for the FFC could also be used for direct hydrogen combustion in aircraft engines,” says Law.
About MTU Aero Engines
MTU Aero Engines AG is Germany's leading engine manufacturer. The company is a technological leader in low-pressure turbines, high-pressure compressors, turbine center frames as well as manufacturing processes and repair techniques. In the commercial OEM business, the company plays a key role in the development, manufacturing and marketing of high-tech components together with international partners. Some 30 percent of today’s active aircraft in service worldwide have MTU components on board. In the commercial maintenance sector the company ranks among the top 3 service providers for commercial aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines. The activities are combined under the roof of MTU Maintenance. In the military arena, MTU Aero Engines is Germany's industrial lead company for practically all engines operated by the country's military. MTU operates a network of locations around the globe; Munich is home to its corporate headquarters. In fiscal 2022, the company had a workforce of more than 11,000 employees and posted consolidated sales of 5.3 billion euros.
About MT Aerospace
MT Aerospace AG, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, is an aerospace company with around 600 employees at its sites in Augsburg, Bremen, Czech Republic and Kourou, French Guiana. MT Aerospace develops and produces key components for the European launcher Ariane, the Airbus aircraft fleet, spacecraft and satellites. MT Aerospace is a technological leader in lightweight metal and composite structures and has decades of experience in the use of liquid hydrogen for rocket propulsion. Further development of its expertise around complete cryogenic hydrogen storage and supply systems is a distinguishing characteristic of MT Aerospace, which is being applied to electric drive systems for future e-mobility.