Is Airbus betting on hydrogen as a fuel for the aeronautical future?
It seems like that judging from some of the last statements of its CEO Guillaume Faury when he presented three possible configurations of new aircraft for the year 2035. Of course, between now and 2035 many things have to happen, among other things, how the aeronautical companies survive a few years of economic hardship
This nice man presented three new possible hydrogen-fueled aircraft models. as you can see in the photo.
The first two have a similar appearance to current aircraft and only change the fuel and propulsion system, which replaces kerosene with hydrogen.
The closest in the photograph is a turboprop to be able to carry up to 100 passengers over distances of 1,000 nautical miles, which could cover short-range flights.
The one a little further away is a turbofan to carry around 200 passengers over distances of around 2,000 nautical miles. It would be the equivalent to the current A320, and would cover intermediate range flights.
And the one on the right of the photograph is a totally different model, which is already being tested on scale models, and it is a kind of flying wing to carry more than 200 passengers.
As a statement from the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus that’s fine, but it’s just that a statement of intentions. For the moment they are only drawings on a computer and some test mockup; a lot remains for them to be realities that can transport people.
As Mr. Faury has very well said, the challenge of aeronautics is enormous, and it will require a lot of work from the entire complex aeronautical system (aircraft manufacturers, engines, flight systems, government aid, etc …) to make things change.
Two dozen years of uncertainty remain until we have the new reality of non-polluting airplanes; and it remains to be seen how they really will be.
We will still see many “ideas” from many people, because in times of change is when some position themselves for the future, and it seems that Airbus does not want to stay on the sidelines.
We will see what happens.