Project HEART

Industry partners pioneer critical hydrogen aviation infrastructure

Project HEART


Project HEART is a collaborative R&D project, part funded by the UK Research & Innovation Future Flight Challenge.

Its aim is to advance hydrogen aviation – facilitating end-to-end hydrogen infrastructure capable of safely fuelling hydrogen aircraft. The endeavour will also help to shape future government policy in the sustainable aviation sector.


Industry leading partners

Protium has partnered with Haskel, the UK’s leading manufacturer of hydrogen compression systems; and Nel Hydrogen, the hydrogen generation and distribution specialist.

The pivotal integration of Haskel’s ultra-efficient hydrogen compression system with a Nel Hydrogen electrolyser – a UK deployment record of the largest molecule distribution at scale equipment for Nel – will deliver hydrogen to power fuel cell-electric propulsion aircraft in trials.

Project focus

Project HEART’s initial focus lies in regional airports, where it is developing a refuelling solution catering to aircraft carrying 9 to 19 passengers and a range of 500 miles.

By harnessing sector-leading expertise and cutting-edge technology, the project is delivering a comprehensive solution that encompasses off-site hydrogen production, its transference to site, and refuelling of the fuel cell-electric propulsion aircraft via a mobile refueller.

The project’s commitment to advancing safety around net zero aviation is evident in its close collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority. A series of insightful workshops is contributing valuable input and suggestions towards shaping future government policies related to hydrogen aircraft.

UK Research and Innovation Future Flight Challenge

The UK Research and Innovation Future Flight Challenge is a £300 million programme, co-funded by government and industry, that is supporting the creation of the aviation ecosystem needed to accelerate the introduction of advanced air mobility (AAM), drones, and electric sub-regional aircraft in the UK.

Delivered by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council, the programme works with industry, academia, government, and regulators to transform how we connect people, transport goods, and deliver services in a sustainable way that provides socio-economic benefits using new types of air vehicles with novel technologies.

The hydrogen infrastructure will be installed at a hydrogen production site, called Pioneer 2, in South Wales. With production planned to start in mid-2024, Pioneer 2 will support both the Project HEART trials and hydrogen requirements from industry in the future. Pioneer 2 is owned and managed by Protium, forming part of its hydrogen network across the UK to provide green hydrogen for transport and industry.

Our partners



Haskel, a business of the Precision and Science Technologies Segment at Ingersoll Rand, is the global leader in high-pressure liquid and gas transfer and compression technology solutions for critical applications in hydrogen mobility, aerospace and defence, energy, and other industries. The organisation’s Hydrogen Systems Group supports the development of global refuelling infrastructure, including hydrogen fuelling stations and hydrogen dispensing solutions. With over 70 years of expertise, Haskel’s leadership in the market is built on a reputation of safety, reliability, and the highest quality. Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), is a global leader in mission-critical flow creation and industrial technologies. Further information is also available here.


Nel Hydrogen

Nel is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy. The company dates back to 1927 and now offers hydrogen solutions across the entire value chain.

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