It’s the year of redefining the world as we know it. And the year of learning and unlearning. And while a number of activists and civil society groups are protesting for governments the world over to keep up with climate change initiatives, Netherlands-based aerospace company Airbus seems to be stepping up the game.
Airbus recently announced plans to launch the world’s first zero emission commercial aircraft service.All in good time – 2035, to be precise. The official statement revealed three concepts which explore using means as an alternative to modern day fuels, to power aircrafts. Each concept lays out different manners to do so, each exploring different systems of technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations – all in an effort to decarbonise the entire aviation sector.
All sources rely on hydrogen as their fundamental and primary source in their bid to rely on clean aviation fuel. To help the industry meet its climate-neutral and climate positive targets.
Codenamed ‘ZEROe’ here’s what we know about the three concepts.
For 12 to 200 passengers with a range of more than 2000 nautical miles. This aircraft is capable of operating transcontinentally and powered by a modified gas-turbine engine. Running, off course, on hydrogen. The liquid hydrogen will be stored in tanks behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
For 100 passengers with a range of more than 1000 nautical miles. Involves a turbofan charged by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines.
Blended-wing body design
For upto 200 passengers, the wings of the aircraft merge with the rest of the main body. Range on this one, is similar to that of the turbofan design model. The wide fuselage is said to offer a bunch of options when it comes to hydrogen storage and distribution and for the cabin layout as well.
The announcement of the aforementioned aircraft designs come as part of the entire ecosystem at Airbus aimed at being more sound to climate change concerns. With six electric fight projects, Airbus launched its electrification project back in 2010. The European company developed the world’s maiden all-electric, four-engine aerobatic aircraft.
Similarly, Airbus has in place similar projects that work on using sunlight as the primary source of energy to enable unmanned aerial vehicles to stay aloft in the stratosphere for longer periods of time.