Seven partners will develop the Flying Fuel Cell

Munich, February 8, 2024 – A new venture is taking off: The new Clean Aviation technology program, HEROPS (Hydrogen-Electric Zero Emission Propulsion System), was launched in mid-January. Some 30 representatives of the participating partners in the fields of industry, research, and science came to Munich for the kickoff event at MTU Aero Engines.

Building on MTU’s Flying Fuel Cell™ (FFC), the goal is to develop technologies for a climate-neutral, hydrogen-powered electric powertrain that will put regional airplanes in the air starting in 2035. The HEROPS project officially began last September, when the Governing Board of Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU) chose eight additional research projects during its second Clean Aviation Call. 

During the project’s three-year period, the partners, led by MTU, plan to build a HEROPS Ground Demonstrator with 1.2 megawatts of power. They also want to prove the feasibility of the new, groundbreaking technologies and show that they are highly scalable, reaching between two and four megawatts of power using modular engine architecture. 

The HEROPS industry partners are MT Aerospace, RTX’s Collins Aerospace, Lufthansa Technik and Eaton; the research partners are Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and the Technical University Vienna.   

The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU) is the European Union’s leading research and innovation program for transforming aviation towards a sustainable and climate-neutral future. It is a successful European public-private partnership between the European Commission through Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation program, and the European aeronautics industry. Clean Aviation is the successor to the two Clean Sky programs that ran from 2008 to 2024.  

The HEROPS partners:                                                                                         

·      RTX’s Collins Aerospace, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom   

·      Eaton, Czech Republic 

·      Lufthansa Technik, Germany 

·      MT Aerospace, Germany

·      MTU Aero Engines, Germany

·      Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), Netherlands

·      Technical University Vienna, Austria