Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft, which could enter service by 2035. These concepts each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight, exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations in order to support the company’s ambition of leading the way in the de-carbonisation of the entire aviation industry.
All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other 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.”
The three concepts – all codenamed “ZEROe” – for a first climate neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include:
A turbofan design (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 stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.