Airbus has announced that its first zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial flight may be ready for take-off by 2035.
Called ZEROe with three design concepts, the first will resemble a commercial aircraft but with longer and more flexible wings. The second will resemble a turboprop plane with six-bladed propellers while the third is the most futuristic, with a “blended-wing body”. The fuel source of hydrogen propulsion, is however the real game changer.
In a statement, Glenn Llewellyn, Airbus VP, Zero-Emission Aircraft, said: “As recently as five years ago, hydrogen propulsion wasn’t even on our radar as a viable emission-reduction technology pathway.
“But convincing data from other transport industries quickly changed all that. Today, we’re excited by the incredible potential hydrogen offers aviation in terms of disruptive emissions reduction.”
Airbus estimates hydrogen has the potential to reduce aviation’s carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent.
The company believes that turbofan design has the potential to transport up to 200 passengers more than 2,000 miles. The turboprop plane could carry half as many, half the distance.
It should be noted that Airbus is not currently a member of the Race to Zero campaign. It remains to be seen how their strategy will evolve.
Find out how to join the Race to Zero here.