At the end of last month Airbus announced three concepts they have for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035.

Airbus have called their three concepts “‘ZEROe” all running on hydrogen rather than jet fuel. This comes after a research project from last year where Airbus and EasyJet joined forces to consider hybrid and electric aircrafts.

Why hydrogen, you ask?

Hydrogen can be produced with renewable energy and when it’s burned it only produces water vapour, therefore it’s a clean fuel option for planes.

According to Glenn Llewellyn, Vice President of Zero Emission Aircraft Airbus, hydrogen has got several thousand times more energy per kilogram than batteries could have today. He also feels hydrogen is going to be used in lots of industries to reduce co2 emissions.

ZEROe concepts:
  1. A turbofan design, could carry up to 200 passengers with a range of 2,000 nautical miles.
  2. A turboprop design, could carry up to 100 passengers with a range of 1,000 nautical miles, perfect for short-haul flights. 
  3. A ‘blended-wing body’ design, could carry up to 200 passengers with a range of 2,000 nautical miles. The key aspect of this design would be that the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft. This would create multiple options for hydrogen storage and cabin layout. 

Airbus will be developing the technology, testing it on ground and will eventually have flight demonstrations to test out its limitations.

Overall the shift from fossil fuel gas to hydrogen is to be expected in years to come, helping to reduce the transport sector carbon footprint.

Click to find out more and see video footage of ZEROe

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