Home / Companies / News /  Airbus unveils three concepts of zero-emission commercial aircraft

NEW DELHI: French aerospace major Airbus SE on Monday revealed three concepts of zero-emission commercial aircraft, the first planes to rely on hydrogen as a primary source of power. The company hopes to introduce them to the markets, including India, by 2035, it said in a statement.

The three concepts, all codenamed 'ZEROe', include a turbofan that can carry 120-200 passengers, a turboprop that can carry up to 100 passengers, and a "blended wide-body" aircraft that can carry up to 200 passengers, Airbus said.

The turbofan-concept aircraft will be able to undertake transcontinental flights and will be 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.

The turboprop concept will be powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines, which would be capable of traveling more than 1,000 nautical miles.

The blended wide-body design is one in which the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft with a range similar to that of the turbofan concept. The wide fuselage of the concept aircraft opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.

Airbus's endeavour would be to price these products competitively when these enter the market in 2035, said Rémi Maillard, president of Airbus India and managing director of South Asia region.

However, airports will require significant hydrogen transport and refueling infrastructure to meet the needs of day-to-day operations, Airbus said in the statement.

"Support from governments will be key to meet these ambitious objectives with increased funding for research and technology, digitalisation, and mechanisms that encourage the use of sustainable fuels and the renewal of aircraft fleets to allow airlines to retire older, less environmentally friendly aircraft earlier," it added.

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