The European aerospace company ‘Airbus’ has made headlines as it announced a bold new project - a brand new type of zero-emission aircraft that runs on hydrogen fuel. The company’s Chief Executive Guillaume Faury called the ambitious new design "the world's first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft" in a statement to the Guardian. If the company’s plans pan out, the new aircraft will revolutionize the way we see commercial planes. What does the future of plane-building look like according to Airbus? Find out in the article below.
Airbus is building not one but three zero-emission planes
Zero-emission flights have been an impossible yet key milestone for commercial air travel, as the carbon emissions of contemporary aircraft produce significant quantities of greenhouse gases that affect the climate and the environment in adverse ways.
In a recent press-release, Airbus debuted their take on environmentally-friendly aircraft - three new designs for the first zero-emission commercial planes in the world. All three of these planes use hydrogen as fuel. This means that burning the fuel will result in water vapor emissions. What’s more, this new clean fuel alternative may even be used on other vehicles, too, such as trucks and trains.
The three concept designs differ in terms of their passenger capacity and mileage:
- The first concept is propelled by a modified gas-turbine engine fueled with hydrogen that’s able to carry 120-200 passengers over long distances (over 2,000 nautical miles or 3,700 km).
- The second design uses something called a turboprop design and is developed for short-distance trips (1,000 nautical miles or 1,850 km) and a passenger load of no more than 100 people.
- The third and final design is the most futuristic - this plane has a wide body that would be utilized for hydrogen storage or passenger space that has the same range and capacity as the first concept.
What’s even more impressive is that the company promises to release the first hydrogen planes as soon as 2035 or even earlier. See more specifications of these three concepts in the video below.
Of the ambitious interior design features Airbus is exploring are sleeping arrangements for passengers, open spaces for exercise and other activities, and even augmented reality screens aboard the planes. Airbus plans to get the first development plan results as easily as 2021, and the final concept for the aircraft is supposed to be chosen by 2025.
Realistically speaking, t's too early to tell as of now when exactly the first Airbus hydrogen planes will become available to the public, but the revolutionary design is a long-awaited step that will hopefully allow the transport sector to move away from fossil fuel consumption and become the first eco-friendly aircraft in the world.
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