Airbus Announces Motor Partner for Hydrogen Engine

Airbus has chosen its partner to create a motor for its hydrogen-powered engine.



February 8, 2023

DALLAS - Airbus has signed an agreement with Nidec Leroy-Somer, “a world leader in electromechanical and electronic drive systems,” to develop an electric motor for its hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine prototype.

The French-based company, Nidec Leroy-Somer, which the Japanese Nidec Group owns, will now carry out the engineering and prototype work to create the new power plant.

A series of electric motor engines will be created to meet the necessary safety, reliability, and energy efficiency requirements, all while keeping weights low to reach the targeted power.

Ground-based testing will be carried out using dedicated test benches at the Angouleme, France headquarters. Once this has been certified, a second phase of in-flight testing will commence.

Airbus hopes to have its ZEROe aircraft in service by 2035. Photo: Airbus.

Airbus ZEROe

Jean-Michel Condamin, president of the commercial and industrial motors division at Nidec, says: “We are pleased to have been selected by Airbus to provide our expertise in high-efficiency electric motors and contribute, through our innovative R&D teams and solutions, to this ambitious eco-friendly commercial aviation project.

“This important milestone for more sustainable mobility, presents several challenges that we are committed to overcome, to serve the global community.”

The power plant will be used on Airbus’ ZEROe aircraft, which it hopes to put into service by 2035. The European plane maker launched the ZEROe demonstrator in 2022, utilising an A380 as a test platform.

Featured Image: Airbus has put forward various concept designs for its ZEROe aircraft, including this blended wing design. Photo: Airbus.