Rolls-Royce and easyJet have carried out the world’s first successful ground test of a modern aeroplane engine fuelled by hydrogen.

It took place at a Ministry of Defence site at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, using a converted Rolls-Royce jet engine, the firms said yesterday.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘The UK is leading the global shift to guilt-free flying.’

Lift-off for 'guilt-free flying': Rolls-Royce and easyJet hail first successful test of a hydrogen-powered jet engine

Rolls-Royce and easyJet have carried out the world’s first successful ground test of a modern aeroplane engine fuelled by hydrogen

Rolls-Royce and easyJet teamed up this year to pioneer the use of hydrogen as an airline fuel from the mid-2030s onwards.

The successful test used so-called ‘green’ hydrogen – generated with renewable wind and tidal power at a site on the Orkney Islands.

Shapps said: ‘This is a true British success story.’

Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini said it was an ‘exciting milestone’ in a project ‘which could help reshape the future of flight’.

But the company has acknowledged that hydrogen power, which will require completely different infrastructure from fossil fuels, will take decades to be phased in.

In the meantime it is working on the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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