Hydrogen-powered Airbus ZEROe concepts could enter service by 2035


Airbus has revealed three ZEROe concept aircrafts — a turbofan design, a turboprop design, and a “blended-wing body” design, all powered by liquid hydrogen. The company hopes to put them into service by 2035.


Visually, the Turbofan design doesn’t look radically different than the similar-sized aircrafts that are on service today, such as the A320. It is powered by modified gas-turbine engines running on hydrogen. The liquid hydrogen will be stored in the tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead. It is unclear whether the wings carry any fuel at all. Airbus claims a range of 2,000+ nautical miles (3,700+ km).


The Turboprop design looks pretty similar to something of the likes of ATR 72. It can carry up to 100 passengers for distances of over 1,000 nm (1,850+ km). Since both these aircrafts look similar to what we already have, it could be possible to retrofit the modified engines to existing aircraft designs in the future.


The third one is an interesting looking “blended-wing body” design, which could carry up to 200 passengers for distances of over 2,000 nm (3,700+ km), same as the Turbofan variant. The wide fuselage could offer various configuration options. The aircraft kinda reminds me of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035. 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. – Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO

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