Airbus airplane with hydrogen propulsion

Airbus, a company that designs and manufactures aircraft, revealed three futuristic concepts that it is working on to produce the world’s first zero-carbon commercial aircraft.

If any of these designs are successful, they could start flying in 2035.

With the aim of “decarbonising” the aviation industry, each of these concepts shows a different approach to achieve a non-polluting flight and, at the same time, seeks different technological solutions and aerodynamic configurations.

“All three concepts are based on hydrogen as the primary energy source, an aviation fuel that Airbus sees as clean and very promising, and which is likely to be the solution that will be implemented in aerospace and other industries to achieve its objectives of neutral emissions for the climate “, they point out from the company in a statement.

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus said during the presentation of the projects: “We intend to play a leading role in the most important transition that this industry has made in its history. The concepts we unveil show the world our ambition to pioneer a bold vision of future zero-emission flights. “

And he added: “I firmly believe that the use of hydrogen – in synthetic fuels or used as a primary energy source for commercial aircraft – has the potential to significantly reduce the climate impact of aviation.”

  1. A turbofan design (120-200 passengers) with a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles, capable of transcontinental operations and powered by a modified gas turbine engine that works by combustion of hydrogen, instead of using fuel from airplane. Liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed using tanks located behind the rear pressurized bulkhead.
  2. A turboprop design (up to 100 passengers) that uses a turboprop engine instead of a turbofan, also powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas turbine engines, which would allow them to travel more than 1,000 nautical miles and be the perfect choice for short distance trips.
    Another concept presented by Airbus, this time with a turboprop engine.

Another concept presented by Airbus, this time with a turboprop engine.

  1. A “mixed wing body” design (up to 200 passengers) in which the wings are fused with the main body of the aircraft and with a range similar to the concept using turbofan. The exceptionally wide fuselage allows multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, as well as for the configuration of the cabin.
    Beyond the design of airplanes, we must also think about the modifications that airport infrastructure requires to pave the way towards the use of this type of technology.

“With the support of industrial and public sector partners, we will be able to tackle the challenge of increasing the use of renewable energy and hydrogen in order to achieve a sustainable future for the aviation sector,” said Faury.