IAAPS partners on groundbreaking project to develop future liquid hydrogen aircraft fuel systems

10 October 2023

IAAPS and its parent organisation, the University of Bath, are joining a pioneering collaborative project led by Moog Aircraft in the UK and funded by an Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) grant to develop key technologies for future liquid hydrogen gas turbine fuel systems.

The FETCH (Future Engine Technology for the Control of Hydrogen) project is aimed at large commercial aircraft of the future and has the technical support of a major engine manufacturer, GE Aerospace. Additional collaborative partners include Cranfield University, pressure measurement technology specialist Baker Hughes Druck, component and sub-systems manufacturer Curtiss Wright Corporation’s Sensors Division as well as Carter Manufacturing. The group will develop and demonstrate a fuel control system for aircraft hydrogen gas turbines.

Engineers from IAAPS, the University of Bath’s commercial subsidiary, will support the programme with their extensive research expertise in designing, simulating and testing fluid systems and fluid control systems. Novel liquid hydrogen control technology will be validated and tested at the state-of-the-art IAAPS facility at the Bristol & Bath Science Park. The programme is set to commence this autumn, culminating in hydrogen fuel system testing in early 2026.

“IAAPS is renowned for its pioneering R&I work and development of experimental propulsion technologies, and we are thrilled to be playing a pivotal role in this indeed groundbreaking project. It represents a significant step towards achieving sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation solutions. Hydrogen propulsion systems hold promise in reducing carbon emissions and advancing the aerospace industry's journey towards net-zero. This technology has the potential to transform not only aviation but also the broader transportation sector by offering a cleaner alternative to conventional fuels,” says Professor Sam Akehurst, IAAPS Research Director.

The FETCH project is supported by the ATI Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme, delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, addresses technology, capability, and supply chain challenges.

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