MIAMI – Embraer has unveiled a family of concept aircraft it is testing to assist the industry meet its 2050 objective of net-zero carbon emissions.

The Energia family’s details were broadcast live via YouTube from Embraer’s production facility in So José dos Campos, Brazil, as part of the company’s Sustainability in Action project.

To better understand energy harvesting, storage, thermal management, and their applications for sustainable aircraft propulsion, the company has teamed up with an international consortium of engineering universities, aeronautical research institutes, and small and medium-sized businesses.

According to a company press release, the Energia Family is comprised of four concept aircraft of varying sizes that incorporate different propulsion technologies – electric, hydrogen fuel cell, dual fuel gas turbine, and hybrid-electric:

Energia Hybrid (E9-HE)

  • hybrid-electric propulsion
  • up to 90% CO2 emissions reduction
  • 9 seats
  • rear-mounted engines
  • technology readiness –2030

Energia Electric (E9-FE)

  • full electric propulsion
  • zero CO2 emissions
  • 9 seats
  • aft contra-rotating propeller
  • technology readiness – 2035

Energia H2 Fuel Cell (E19-H2FC)

  • hydrogen-electric propulsion
  • zero CO2 emissions
  • 19 seats
  • rear-mounted electric engines
  • technology readiness – 2035

Energia H2 Gas Turbine (E50-H2GT)

  • hydrogen or SAF/JetA turbine propulsion
  • up to 100% CO2 emissions reduction
  • 35 to 50 seats
  • rear-mounted engines
  • technology readiness – 2040

Comments from Embraer VP Engineering, CEO

Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s Sr. VP of Engineering, Technology and Corporate Strategy, explained the rationale for the Energia family. “We see our role as a developer of novel technologies to help the industry achieve its sustainability targets. There’s no easy or single solution in getting to net zero. New technologies and their supporting infrastructure will come online over time.

Affosno added, “We’re working right now to refine the first airplane concepts, the ones that can start reducing emissions sooner rather than later. Small aircraft are ideal on which to test and prove new propulsion technologies so that they can be scaled up to larger aircraft. That’s why our Energia family is such an important platform.”

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, commented on the company´s strategy regarding sustainability. “We will see a big transformation in our industry towards a more sustainable aviation. With 50 years’ experience in developing, certifying and supporting regional aircraft, Embraer is in a unique position to make viable the introduction of new disruptive green technologies.”

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft with up to 150 seats, as well as the country’s largest supplier of high-value-added goods. Across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, the company operates industrial units, offices, service and parts distribution centers, among other activities.

Featured image: Embraer’s Energia Familia aircraft. Photo: Embraer