Airbus unveils concepts for hydrogen-powered plane

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus has unveiled three visual concepts for 'zero emission' airplanes to be powered by hydrogen. It is the planemaker's latest effort to draw public attention to its 'zero-emission' ambitions as European governments push for cleaner technology in their post-COVID recovery plans

Reuters September 22, 2020 05:05:23 IST
Airbus unveils concepts for hydrogen-powered plane

Airbus unveils concepts for hydrogenpowered plane

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus has unveiled three visual concepts for "zero emission" airplanes to be powered by hydrogen.

It is the planemaker's latest effort to draw public attention to its "zero-emission" ambitions as European governments push for cleaner technology in their post-COVID recovery plans.

Airbus has set itself a deadline of 2035 to put a carbon-free commercial aircraft into service, a target engine makers like Safran have described as ambitious.

The "ZEROe" initiative includes concepts for two conventional-looking aircraft: a turbofan jet engine able to carry 120-200 people over 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km) and a turboprop able to carry up to 100 people for 1,000 nm.

Unlike normal planes, the engines would be adapted to burn liquid hydrogen stored in the rear fuselage.

A third proposal incorporates a revolutionary "blended wing body" design similar to one presented in February.

At the same time, Airbus is working on a demonstrator, with initial results expected in 2021.

"The demonstrator will allow us to assess what the most promising architecture is," Airbus Chief Technology Officer Grazia Vittadini said in an interview.

"We see it as applicable to all Airbus products eventually."

To meet its 2035 goal, Airbus would need to select technologies by 2025, she said. Other industry executives said such a clean break in propulsion could take until 2040.

Challenges include finding ways to safely store volatile liquid hydrogen during flight at very cold temperatures.

Airbus dismissed concerns that hydrogen would be unsafe and has called for massive investment in new energy infrastructure.

While hydrogen has been discussed since the 1970s, it remains too expensive for widespread use. Proponents say infrastructure investment and rising demand will lower the cost.

Most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas, which creates carbon emissions.

However, Airbus said the hydrogen used for aviation would be produced from renewable energy and extracted from water with electrolysis. That's a carbon-free process if powered by renewable electricity, but it is currently more expensive.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sam Holmes)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
World

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities

Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up
News & Analysis

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field
News & Analysis

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field

By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.