Zero-emission aircraft

By | Category: Travel news

Airbus has announced that, by 2035 which is a mere fourteen-and-a-bit years away, the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft could take to the skies. The concept aircraft system is called ZEROe.

the Blended Wing Body – Image Airbus

Is this anything more than aviation puff or is there a real likelihood that this might happen?

Airbus estimates hydrogen has the potential to reduce aviation’s COemissions by up to 50% so what about the other 50%? That doesn’t seem to have been explained on the Airbus website.

As the company itself admits, to meet this target, Airbus will need to launch the ZEROe aircraft programme by 2025. This time frame gives Airbus engineers approximately five years to mature all the required hydrogen technologies. Airbus admits this is ambitious and it seems doubly so given that hydrogen fuel requires a different storage system compared to aviation fuel.

One of the concept planes called the Blended-Wing Body (BWB) has an exceptionally wide interior which could be used to completely re-think how airlines seat passengers. Could it mean the end of the middle seat? Could it mean more room to move about in? Could it means faster and more comfortable loading and deplaning of passengers onto aircraft?

The pandemic has changed a lot of thinking about airline travel. Some would argue that climate change is a more significant issue that the pandemic and this announcement by airbus might refocus some priorities.

All three concept designs from Airbus. Image – Airbus

All the work that has been forecast about aviation growth took no account of the pandemic and its influence on flight habits. Those will change at least over the next few years.

This is probably one of the most opportune of times to alter the way we travel and hydrogen powered travel might be the shake-up the industry needs.

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