MIAMI – Today Airbus has revealed the ZEROe concept aircraft. These three models are hydrogen-powered zero-emission aircraft and could enter service by 2035.
While the three aircraft are all powered by hydrogen, they have differing designs and use cases.
Two of the three aircraft revealed by Airbus have more traditional designs, with the third being a blended-wing body design.
The turbofan design is similar to current passenger aircraft such as the A220 or A320. The aircraft would be expected to carry between 120-200 passengers and have a range of 2000+ nautical miles. The hydrogen would be carried in the tail of the aircraft behind the rear pressure bulkhead. The turbofan engines would generate thrust by burning the hydrogen.
The second design is a turboprop aircraft, with a high wing design and T-tail, similar to the ATR series. This aircraft should fit up to 100 passengers and have a range of around 1000 nautical miles. Like the turbofan design, the turboprop would burn the hydrogen to generate thrust.
The final design is a novel design using blended-wing body technology. The aircraft is expected to carry around 200 passengers and have a range of 2000+ nautical miles as well. Airbus states that with the new fuselage design the exact layout of fuel tanks and passenger seats has multiple options.
Future of Aviation
With a shift to Hydrogen powered aircraft, this will force an infrastructure shift worldwide. Every airport would be affected, requiring new fueling methods at a minimum.
Guillaume Faury states that “The transition to hydrogen, as the primary power source for these concept planes, will require decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem. Together with the support from government and industrial partners we can rise up to this challenge to scale-up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry.”
Featured image: Airbus