World's 1st hydrogen-powered jet engine seeks turning point for aviation industry

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A Rolls Royce engine on display during an air show. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Aerospace manufacturer Rolls-Royce said Monday it had successfully tested and commissioned the world's first hydrogen-powered aircraft engine.
The first engine of its kind could be a significant milestone in the development of environmentally friendly fuels for the aviation industry.
In a press release, Rolls-Royce said it had tested an early concept engine using hydrogen from wind and tidal power. The test was carried out in partnership with British low-cost airline easyJet, and officials said the hydrogen engine was an "important proof point" in both companies' decarbonisation strategies.
A second round of testing the engine is currently being planned.
"[Rolls-Royce and easyJet] are committed to proving that hydrogen can safely and efficiently provide power for commercial aircraft engines and are already planning a second series of tests with the longer-term goal of flight testing," the statement said Added press release.
While Rolls-Royce is best known for its luxury cars, the company's aerospace division has become an industry leader in aircraft engines. Rolls-Royce engines are found in numerous models of Boeing and Airbus aircraft and have accumulated more than 100 million flight hours, according to the company.
Their new hydrogen engine is part of a push by the aviation industry to help the world achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Other clean energy technologies are also being developed by Rolls-Royce, Reuters reported, including electric motors that can power shorter flights.
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Despite these advances in hydrogen, however, Rolls-Royce has said most airliners will continue to rely on traditional engines well into the 2050s, according to Reuters.
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