HomeInternationalAirbus to use A380 to test hydrogen-fueled engine

Airbus to use A380 to test hydrogen-fueled engine

(CNN) — Airbus simply moved one step nearer to launching the world’s first zero-emission business plane by 2035.

The French plane maker has introduced plans to test hydrogen gasoline know-how utilizing a modified model of considered one of its A380 jetliners, which had been discontinued final yr.

Airbus has partnered with CFM International, a three way partnership between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, on the massively important hydrogen demonstration program.

The aircraft producer will use an “A380 flying testbed fitted with liquid hydrogen tanks” to trial propulsion know-how for its future hydrogen plane.

‘Flight laboratory’

“Our ambition is to take this (A380) aircraft and add a stub in between the rear doors at the upper level,” says Glenn Llewellyn, vice chairman for zero emission plane at Airbus, in a video posted on the Airbus YouTube channel. “That stub will have on the end of it a hydrogen powered gas turbine.”

He goes on to clarify that the plane will likely be fitted with hydrogen storage and hydrogen distribution, which is able to feed its engine with the chemical aspect.

According to Llewellyn, the goal of the “flight laboratory” is to study extra about hydrogen propulsion programs in actual floor and flight circumstances, thus enabling Airbus to press on with its plans for a zero-emission plane in simply over a decade.

Test flights are at present estimated to happen in 2026, offered the whole lot goes to plan. The information comes over a yr after Airbus unveiled three hydrogen-based ideas beneath the ZEROe banner.

A rendering of the A380 flight test platform, which will put hydrogen combustion technology to the test.

A rendering of the A380 flight test platform, which is able to put hydrogen combustion know-how to the test.


“This is the most significant step undertaken at Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen-powered flight since the unveiling of our ZEROe concepts back in September 2020,” Sabine Klauke, chief technical officer for Airbus, stated in an announcement.

“By leveraging the expertise of American and European engine manufacturers to make progress on hydrogen combustion technology, this international partnership sends a clear message that our industry is committed to making zero-emission flight a reality.”

Guilt-free flying?

The world aviation trade has pledged to slash emissions to half their 2005 ranges by 2050.

Numerous air carriers are shifting in the direction of sustainable aviation gasoline (SAF) so as to assist cut back the environmental impression of flying, with British Airways’ mum or dad firm IAG revealing plans to energy 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030 and United Airlines finishing its first profitable flight by 100% sustainable gasoline final yr.

However, Airbus is hedging its bets on hydrogen, which may doubtlessly cut back aviation’s carbon emissions by up to 50%, in accordance to the airplane producer.

“I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen — both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft — has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact,” says Guillaume Faury, chief government for Airbus.

Meanwhile, aviation agency ZeroAvia is at present growing a 19-seater plane that may function business hydrogen-electric flights between London and Rotterdam from 2024.

CNN’s Paul Sillers additionally contributed to this report



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