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Airbus reveals concepts of new hydrogen-powered zero-emission aircraft

Airbus reveals concepts of new hydrogen-powered zero-emission aircraft

Published:21 September 2020

The three concepts - all codenamed “ZEROe” - for a first climate-neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include a turbofan design (with a capacity of 120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles.

New Delhi | Airbus on Monday revealed concepts of new hydrogen-powered zero-emission commercial aircraft that could enter service by 2035.
"The three concepts - all codenamed “ZEROe” - for a first climate-neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include a turbofan design (with a capacity of 120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles," said a press release by the aircraft manufacturer.
The turbofan design would be capable of operating trans-continentally and would be powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion, it stated.
At a press briefing, Airbus India president Remi Maillard told reporters that, "we believe that hydrogen will increasingly become more cost-competitive in the future, because other industries, and not just aviation, will move towards hydrogen power sources". The second concept is a turboprop design that can carry up to 100 passengers and is powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines, the release stated.
The turboprop design would be capable of travelling more than 1,000 nautical miles, making it a perfect option for short-haul trips, it mentioned.
Malliard said, "Obviously, many challenges remain, namely the availability of hydrogen, decarbonisation of the production of hydrogen, and the airworthiness certification of a hydrogen-powered aircraft." He said airports, for instance, will require significant hydrogen transport and refuelling infrastructure to meet the needs of day-to-day operations.
"We will need to convert our oil and gas network as well to make them suitable for hydrogen," Malliard said.
"So, it is the beginning of a journey and we are committed to this ambition," he said.
The third concept is a "blended-wing body" design, which can carry up to 200 passengers. In this design, the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft. It will be able to operate trans-continentally, the release stated.
These three concepts for the "world's first zero-emission commercial aircraft" could enter service by 2035, it stated.
"All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source - an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets," said the release.


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