In a bid to meet the climate-neutral target, European multinational aerospace company Airbus has revealed new concepts for the World’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft.
According to the latest press release by the company the aircraft will touch the skies in 2035. All of the three concepts represent a different approach to achieve a zero-emission flight by exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations with an aim of decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry.
All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source. According to Airbus, this power source is an option that Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as clean aviation fuel.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO in a statement, said “This is a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector as a whole and we intend to play a leading role in the most important transition this industry has ever seen. 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.”
He went on to say that “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.”
Let’s take a look at the concepts of all codenamed “ZEROe” by Airbus.
A turbofan design
This aircraft has the capacity of (120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles, capable of operating transcontinentally and powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion.
The liquid hydrogen will be stockpiled and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
A turboprop design
A turboprop design having the capacity of up to 100 passengers using a turboprop engine instead of a turbofan and also powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines.
This, Airbus said would be capable of traveling more than 1,000 nautical miles, making it a perfect option for short-haul trips.
Airbus said that the “blended-wing body” design has the capacity of up to 200 passengers and in this design, wings merge with the main body of the aircraft with a range similar to that of the turbofan concept.
The wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.
Further commenting about these above-mentioned designs, CEO Airbus said “These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035.”