James Kenealey aerospace jobs
Airbus has become the latest aircraft manufacturer to take a step towards zero emissions flying with the introduction of three zero-emission hydrogen-fuelled aircraft concepts.
The three concepts are all codenamed “ZEROe”. They include a turbofan design, a turboprop concept and a blended-wing body. Airbus claims could enter service by 2035.
The turbofan concept capable of flying between 120 and 200 passengers will have a range of over 2,000 nautical miles and will be powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion. The liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
Capable of travelling more than 1,000 nautical miles, the second turboprop design for up to 100 passengers will also be powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines.
The third concept is for a “blended-wing body” design capable of flying up to 200 passengers. In this concept, the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft and the exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said:
“The concepts we unveil today offer the world a glimpse of our ambition to drive a bold vision for the future of zero-emission flight. I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen – both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft – has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact. These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft.
The transition to hydrogen, as the primary power source for these concept planes, will require decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem. Together with the support from government and industrial partners we can rise up to this challenge to scale-up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry.”
Earlier this year, the first UK test of a battery-electric aircraft took place. The aircraft was powered by a powertrain supplied by California-based ZeroAvia.