Airbus unveiled three concepts for aircraft of the future that will not emit carbon dioxide during flight.
The company intends to achieve this by switching to hydrogen as the main fuel.
The first two aircraft are similar to existing airliners. One of them will operate on jet engines and will be able to transport 120-200 passengers over 3700 km. Hydrogen in liquid form is supposed to be transported in the tail behind the bulkhead, which ensures the sealing of the cabin.
The prototype of the second airliner will be the existing regional turboprop aircraft. Airbus expects that this type of aircraft can fly up to 1,800 km and carry up to 100 passengers.
The third “flying wing” concept is new to civil aviation and is nowhere in use for commercial transport.
It is assumed that the entire fuselage will be a wing, inside which will accommodate a cabin for 200 passengers and fuel tanks. Airbus emphasizes that this concept allows for different cabin layouts and fuel tank locations.
The concepts presented are the starting point for further research into a CO2-free aircraft. That is why the final version of the airliners, if the project becomes a reality, may differ significantly from the concepts.
Airbus expects that hydrogen aircraft will enter commercial operation in 2035, but admit that their use will require significant changes in airport infrastructure.