Paving the way for emissions-free flight: MTU gets off to a flying start

Evolutionary and revolutionary concepts, sustainable alternative fuels and a flying fuel cell—this is where MTU Aero Engines is focusing its development work.

07.2020 | Text: Martina Vollmuth

Martina Vollmuth holds a degree in journalism and trained as a copy editor for daily newspapers. She is the official spokeswoman for technology at MTU.


Germany’s leading engine manufacturer has always believed that it has a responsibility to make commercial air travel more environmentally sustainable; in other words, cleaner, quieter and more efficient. The new target is ambitious and not easy to achieve: emissions-free flight. MTU is rising to this challenge and has responded with its most pioneering solutions and ideas to date.

The engine experts have drawn up their options for putting these into practice in MTU’s Leading Technology Roadmap. The roadmap for the future pursues two main objectives: first, evolutionary refinement of the successful geared turbofan technology in conjunction with revolutionary propulsion concepts and the use of sustainable alternative fuels; second, full electrification of the powertrain as far as this is possible. Here, MTU has set its sights on the flying fuel cell, technology that converts hydrogen into electricity.

Bold and pioneering ideas

Dr. Stefan Weber, Senior Vice President Technology & Engineering Advanced Programs, talks about the future engine technologies MTU Aero Engines is pursuing:

Hydrogen-powered flight

When it comes to electric flight, MTU’s technological developments center around the flying fuel cell powered by hydrogen. MTU specialist Barnaby Law, Chief Engineer Flying Fuel Cell, explains the advantages of the flying fuel cell and breaks down MTU’s approach in detail.

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AEROREPORT is an aviation magazine published by MTU Aero Engines, Germany's leading engine manufacturer. Neatly summed up, AEROREPORT offers an MTU perspective on the world of aviation. The word “REPORT” in the title stands for the high-tech and outstanding service “made by MTU”. “AERO” represents broader horizons and general aviation topics.

Flying and the technologies that make it possible yield a wealth of content for the magazine, which makes for some truly fascinating reading: stories from over one hundred years of history and plenty of exciting features on topics with a bearing on the future of aviation, such as climate change, population growth and limited resources.