Airbus’ ZEROe programme aims to develop the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. Integral to that ambition, the Aerostack joint venture is driving the development of the hydrogen fuel cell stacks at the heart of an electric propulsion system.


A strategic partnership

Aerostack GmbH was founded in 2020 as a joint venture between Airbus and automotive supplier ElringKlingerAG, with the purpose of research, development and assembly of fuel cell stacks for future aeronautic applications. 

The two sites of Aerostack are located in Dettingen/Erms (south of Stuttgart, Germany) and Taufkirchen (Munich area, Germany).

Performance and maturity for aeronautic applications

Hydrogen fuel cells create electrical power directly from an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The cells are highly efficient and create no CO2 or NOx emissions during operations – only heat and pure water (besides electricity).

As the name suggests, fuel cell stacks are created by stacking individual fuel cells in series. This enables scalable power generation. Aerostack serves as an independent competence centre to develop and validate aviation-compatible hydrogen fuel cell stacks and their full lifecycle management.


The hydrogen fuel cell stack is the heart of the fuel cell system under development by Airbus as part of the ZEROe programme. Beyond the power-generating fuel cell, the system consists of an electrically-driven motor and propeller, and a hydrogen fuel tank.

The countdown to ZEROe: Episode 2: Fuel Cell Systems

The holy grail of aircraft propulsion is to provide power without any emissions. One of the most promising candidates is the hydrogen fuel-cell. Discover how Airbus is developing and testing its fuel cell systems.

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An important decarbonisation pathway



Towards the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft