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Marshall Aerospace is key element of HyFIVE consortium for hydrogen-based aviation

HyFIVE, a UK-led consortium established by Marshall Aerospace, GKN Aerospace and Parker Meggitt, is on a mission to develop a world-leading hydrogen fuel system and supply chain supporting zero-emission aviation.

Using specialised R&D conducted by the University of Manchester, the University of Bath and Cardiff University, the HyFIVE consortium was announced this week by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt with initial funding comprising £17million from industry matched with £20million from government.

Zero-emission aircraft fuelled by hydrogen
Zero-emission aircraft fuelled by hydrogen

The project is supported by the ATI Programme, a partnership between the Department for Business and Trade, Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK (UKRI).

Welcoming the announcement, industry minister Nusrat Ghani said: “This is another win for our world-leading aerospace sector, cementing the UK’s position at the forefront of zero emissions technology and taking the UK to new heights in the pursuit of cleaner, greener air travel.

“This announcement is the latest in a long line of wins for UK aviation and builds on the success of the £4.5billion investment as part of our Advanced Manufacturing Plan and launch of our Hydrogen Taskforce, placing UK expertise at the cutting edge of hydrogen fuel innovation.”

The overarching objective of the new consortium is to develop, test and validate a modular, scalable cryogenic hydrogen fuel system architecture that is suitable for multiple aircraft classes and compatible with either hydrogen electric propulsion or hydrogen combustion powertrains.

HyFIVE is a consortium between Marshall Aerospace, GKN Aerospace and Parker Meggitt
HyFIVE is a consortium between Marshall Aerospace, GKN Aerospace and Parker Meggitt

Specifically, the collaboration will cover five key aspects of technology development for hydrogen fuel systems: storage, conveyance, indication, fuelling and venting.

The HyFIVE consortium members have defined a full technical programme spanning several years, starting with initial architecture development and supplier engagement and running all the way through to ground testing and final design review for the integrated fuel system.

By 2027 the consortium plans to have:

-Developed and validated an integrated family of mature fuel system technologies and capabilities conducive to certification;

-Conducted ground demonstration (TRL 6) of an integrated fuel system encompassing the storage, conveyance, indication, venting and fuelling systems;

- Opened a range of flight demonstration and exploitation paths with prospective customers; and

-Developed a customer-ready supply chain and industrialisation strategy.

Timely achievement of these objectives will support the successful introduction of a new generation of zero emissions aircraft in the 2030s.

The HyFIVE collaboration is structured to take advantage of each industry partner’s unique capabilities.

Marshall CEO Kathy Jenkins. Picture: Keith Heppell
Marshall CEO Kathy Jenkins. Picture: Keith Heppell

Marshall will bring to the consortium its expertise in complex system design, integration and certification, honed through decades of delivering aircraft fuel systems and complex aircraft modification projects.

GKN Aerospace, which specialises in the design, manufacture and assembly of aircraft structures, engine components and systems, will contribute its industry-leading advanced materials and hydrogen cryogenic system optimisation know-how.

Parker Meggitt will lead on aspects of the collaboration related to motion, control and thermal technologies, drawing on its specialised knowledge of fuel systems, electromechanical actuation and thermal management.

GKN Aerospace CTO Russ Dunn said: “We believe that zero emissions flight will be a core part of delivering a sustainable global aviation industry and will make an important contribution to the UK Government’s Jet Zero targets. The HyFIVE programme will develop foundational technologies to deliver that future whilst also providing significant market opportunities for the UK as we look towards industrialisation.

“The ATI continues to be a vital part of the UK’s aerospace technology ecosystem, supporting important innovation projects like HyFIVE. We are very proud to be a partner in the HyFIVE programme and look forward to working in the consortium in the coming years.”

“HyFIVE is a true UK powerhouse, bringing together industry leaders with a track record of certifying new aerospace technologies and the industrial scale to successfully deliver to market,” said Marshall CEO Kathy Jenkins.

“Combining our respective strengths and drawing on support from some of the world’s top R&D centres will result in a consortium that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.”

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