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Airbus bets on hydrogen and presents three zero-emission prototypes

According to the European aeronautics giant, if its plans go according to schedule, the first hydrogen-powered aircraft could be operational by 2035.
September 21, 2020 16:12  EFE
Zero-emission aircrafts of Airbus
The aeronautical manufacturer Airbus, in the red due to the drop in activity due to the Covid pandemic, presented on Monday an ambitious plan that bets on hydrogen as a source of energy and hopes to have the first commercial aircraft with zero polluting emissions by 2035.
The European aviation giant currently has three concepts from which this future aircraft will emerge, each of which "explores different technological solutions and aerodynamic configurations," according to a statement. 

"It is the most exciting change that aviation has ever known," Vice President in charge of the zero emissions program, Glenn Llewellyn, said in his press release, acknowledging that "much more remains to be done". 

Turbofan Prototype
The first concept, with a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles (more than 3,500 kilometers) and a capacity of between 120 and 200 passengers, is designed to cover transcontinental routes and is powered by a modified gas-turbine engine that operates on liquid hydrogen combustion.

The second prototype, of up to 100 passengers, could use a "turboprop" engine, instead of a turbofan like the previous one, and would also be powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines.  

Finally, the third prototype, capable of transporting up to 200 passengers, is the most visually and architecturally revolutionary, since it involves bringing to commercial aviation the concept of the “flying wing”, only used until now in experimental aircraft or in the American bomber B-2.
Computer-generated images of this concept and exhibited to the press show how the wings merge with an "exceptionally wide" fuselage, allowing multiple options for both hydrogen storage and distribution as well as cockpit configuration. 
21 de Septiembre de 2020 | 16:12 | EFE

Fuente: -
21 de Septiembre de 2020 | 16:12 | EFE

Fuente: -
Airbus prototype
Blended-Wing Body (BWB                                 
The three Airbus projects are grouped under the label ZEROe and the aeronautical consortium hopes that in three or five years the progress of the investigations will allow them to know which of the three ideas they will bet on in the future. 

The European manufacturer relies on the advances of its own industry and the space and self-propelling sectors, but it is clear that its implementation does not depend only on them, but also on the collaboration of public and private partners and all actors involved in aviation.
"We believe it is feasible if we do things right and if the industry evolves with us", added Executive Vice President of Engineering Jean-Brice Dumont.
The investment required is not yet specified, but is estimated at several tens of billions of euros. As other players contribute to the expansion of that technology, Airbus expects the development cost to gradually decline.
The European aerospace giant presents its program as an environmental revolution.
"I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen in synthetic fuels or used as a primary energy source for commercial aircraft has the potential to significantly reduce the climate impact of aviation", said its CEO, Guillaume Faury.

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