Airbus Reveals Three Zero-Emission Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Aircrafts
Pledged to design, manufacture and deliver industry-leading, commercial aircrafts, on September 21st, Airbus - the international pioneer in the aerospace capacity - revealed three concept aircrafts completely powered by hydrogen. With a forward-looking advance strategy based on cutting-edge technologies complete with digital and scientific distinction, Airbus aims to deliver a better-connected, safer and cleaner product in aviation excellence.
These concepts are targeting entering service by the year 2035 and represent a unique approach to arriving at a zero-emission flight experience by exploring technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations. To back up the company’s ambition of paving the way in the decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry, the aircrafts aim to drive a bold vision for the future of zero-emission flights.
All of the three concepts termed “ZEROe,” are the worlds first climate neutral and zero-emission commercial aircrafts that reply solely on hydrogen as a primary power source. Hydrogen is an option or alternative to fuel that holds superior promise as a clean aviation fuel to meet climate conscious and sustainable targets.
The first model is a ‘Turbofan’ design that has the capacity to hold 120 - 200 passengers with a flight range of 2000+ nautical miles. The aircraft is capable of operating inter-continentally and is powered by a modified gas-turbine engine that runs entirely on the aforementioned hydrogen rather than jet fuel via combustion. The aircraft is designed in a particular way that allows the liquid hydrogen to be stored and distributed through tanks placed behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
The second model is a ‘Turboprop’ design that has the capacity to hold upto 100 passengers on board with a travel range of more than 1000 nautical miles making it a suitable option for short-haul trips.
The aircraft has been masterfully designed to use a Turboprop engine instead of a Turbofan engine and is also entirely fuelled by hydrogen, as its fellow counterparts, located in a modified gas-turbine engine.
The third model is a “Blended-Wing Body” design that has the capacity to carry upto 200 passengers on board. In this design the wings appear to meld with the main body of the aircraft and it holds a similar flight range as that of the ‘Turbofan’ concept, of 2000+ nautical miles.
Additionally, the meticulous design concept sports a never-before-seen wide fuselage that gives multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, as well as for cabin layout.
Although these concepts will aid the aviation industry to explore a more climate conscious and zero-emission gateway to commercial travel, for a transition this huge to encourage the use of sustainable fuels, it will require the support and critical action from various governments as well as the entire aviation ecosystem in the field of research & development, digitalisation and scientific mechanisms. Only time will tell if these futuristic concepts ever truly manifest into a reality.
Head over to the Airbus website for more information on these reality altering aircrafts.