According to a recent international study, aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of all human activities that drive climate change. Airbus is looking to a cleaner future for the commercial aircraft industries, where hydrogen powers the zero-emissions aircraft of tomorrow.
With today’s reveal of three designs collectively known as the ZEROe concepts, the company is looking to be at the front of the effort to decarbonize the aviation industry, and it is aiming to bring the first hydrogen-fueled aircraft into service as soon as 2035.
“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,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said. “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. 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.”
At this stage, as you would expect, details are scant but we do know that one of the concepts is based around a turbofan design that’s expected to have a range of over 2,000 nautical miles (2,300 mi/3,700 km) and will be capable of carrying between 120 and 200 passengers. Gas-turbine engines will be modified to run on liquid hydrogen instead of jet fuel, with the hydrogen stored in tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.