Switzerland's CERN teams up with Airbus to create hydrogen plane

Switzerland's CERN teams up with Airbus to create hydrogen plane

On December 1, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that it will be collaborating with Airbus in the pursuit of cleaner aviation. The organisations will combine CERN’s cutting-edge research with Airbus’s dominance in the aviation industry to create a hydrogen-powered plane. 

Prototype flight could come in the next 10 years

A prototype hydrogen aeroplane created by CERN and Airbus could be ready to fly out of a Swiss airport within the next 10 years, the two organisations told 20 minuten. The pair have joined forces to research whether CERN's technologies could be used in the electricity distribution systems of a proposed hydrogen-powered aircraft. 

At present, planes run on aviation fuels which produce harmful emissions that are damaging to the climate. By contrast, hydrogen planes could provide a zero-emission alternative to existing aircraft, while still being able to fly long distances for commercial flights. 

Switzerland-based CERN researching climate-friendly solutions

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), based in Geneva, operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The organisation carries out high-energy physics research and is home to the Large Hadron Collider, allowing researchers from the best universities in Switzerland and beyond to carry out the most cutting-edge physics research. 

"As part of its research work, CERN pushes the boundaries of science and engineering, and partners with industry to encourage innovation, with a positive impact on the environment", Director of Finance and Human Resources at CERN, Raphaël Bello, stated at a press conference.

“Superconducting technologies have made some of the greatest discoveries in high-energy physics possible. If applied to aircraft power distribution systems, they would significantly reduce the weight of aircraft and make them more efficient. CERN has more than 40 years of experience in building superconducting systems [which break] intensity records, which are at the heart of the particle accelerators of today and tomorrow”, José Miguel Jimenez, Head of CERN's Technology Department, added.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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