Airbus unveils zero-emission concept aircraft

Aviation Updates Philippines – European planemaker Airbus has recently unveiled a zero-emission concept aircraft featuring futuristic designs and geometry, which it aims to launch by the year 2035.

According to Airbus, the concept aircraft would be primarily powered by hydrogen, an option the planemaker believes to have “exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel.” Airbus also said this might be the solution for industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.

“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,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. 

“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.” 

Codenamed “ZEROe”, the company has presented three designs for three different categories: turboprop, turbofan, and a new “blended-wing body” design.

As seen in the photo above, the turbofan aircraft concept boasts a seating capacity of 120 up to 200 passengers capable of flying more than 2,000 nautical miles in range. Instead of fuel, the plane will be using hydrogen as its power source, stored on tanks.

For regional flights, Airbus has also designed a turboprop concept capable of seating up to 100 passengers. This would be a “perfect option” for regional carriers operating inter-island or local flights as the aircraft, theoretically, can fly up to 1,000 nautical miles.

Airbus is continuously pushing for an unusual, futuristic design for commercial airliners with this new blended-wing design. According to the company, the “... exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.” This aircraft will be capable of seating up to 200 passengers.

“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,” said Guillaume Faury. 

“The transition to hydrogen, as the primary power source for these concept planes, will require decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem. Together with the support from government and industrial partners we can rise up to this challenge to scale-up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry.”

If implemented, this fresh concept will require a significant change in airline operations, starting with the construction of hydrogen tanks and adequate refueling systems around airports. Government support will be crucial to meet Airbus’ “ambitious” objectives in the future.