Paris, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- European aeronautics giant Airbus on Monday presented an ambitious plan to launch zero-emissions commercial airplanes based on hydrogen fuel technology by 2035.
In its project presentation Airbus unveiled three concept aircraft, all of which would be designed to power off hydrogen propulsion.
“I believe that this is the most exciting change that the aviation industry has ever seen,” vice-president of zero emission technologies Glenn Llewellyn said at the project launch, acknowledging that it would require a lot of collaboration across all sectors of the airline industry.
The first concept aircraft, which resembles a modern-day narrow body airliner, would have a range of around 2,000 nautical miles (more than 3,500 kilometers) and could transport between 120 and 200 passengers. It would be propelled by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen.
The second, designed for short haul journeys, would use turbo-propellers rather than a turbofan but would also draw energy from modified gas produced by hydrogen combustion.
The third concept, with capacity for 200 passengers, would be the most revolutionary in aircraft design and would use a blended-wing outline similar to the American B-2 stealth bomber.
“The exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout,” Airbus said.
The three concept aircrafts are part of Airbus’ project ZEROe and the company said it should have a clearer picture of which design would likely succeed three to five years of investigation down the line.
“I think it’s cool to be an engineer starting in aerospace today working on these concepts that will be the aircraft of the future and we do believe 2035 entering the service is at reach if we make things right and if the ecosystem around us evolves,” Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice-president of engineering, said.
Airbus is presenting its project as a green revolution.