ZEROe: Will Airbus’s zero-carbon airplane take off?

(CNN) – It looks like a space shuttle, driving oil until a few years ago experts call it “crazy,” and it has not stopped painting, but in the presence of one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, no doubt a future.

Even a distant future. Airbus expects us to be flying into the sky together with the latest in just 15 years, leaving days of jet crash and aircraft crash behind us.

The hybrid winged aircraft is one of three eco-easy hydrogen-powered models recently released by Airbus as part of a bid to take the lead in the airline industry.

It’s a bold plan, and one that a few months ago could seem as fictional as the search for oil-powered cruises continues to rise, which seems to be unsettled by environmental challenges.

But the advent of the Covid-19 and its impact on aircraft could unknowingly open the way to survival in an attempt to contemplate globalization.

Airbus has unveiled its new ZEROe app. The designs revealed are not the only ones but the starting point for the technical research needed to launch the first weather-resistant aircraft.

“How can you get out of this epidemic, without getting involved in politics as the most important element of long-term security?” Airbus’s chief technical officer, Grazia Vittadini, asked without comment, informing him of the new plans.

“It would not be possible. Even before this crisis occurs, it has become a widely accepted and shared view that climate protection and environmental protection are the most important factors that must shape our future,” he said.

Why hydrogen?

Airbus’ plan to bring the zero-aircraft carrier market by 2035 means that it will have to start training according to technology in 2025. Instead it needs to plan a number of courses.

This is because there is no single technology that can meet the technical requirements for all types of aircraft – from mobile taxis to short, medium and long flights.

Records of three new aircraft.


While most recently focusing more on the low-emission energy efficiency of small cars, Airbus has now relied on hydrogen as a way to address CO2 problems.

“Our experience with batteries shows that battery technology isn’t going the way we want it to be,” said Glenn Llewellyn, vice president of zero-emitting aircraft at Airbus. “This is where the hydrogen comes in, it’s about twice as much per kilogram of batteries as it can have today.”

Llewellyn says Airbus has already begun negotiating hydrogen with aircraft, energy companies and airports, because “such changes require cooperation between factories and within the airline industry in order for this to happen.”

Hydrogen has been seen as a useful oil from students, but so far it has not been really helped.

Maybe now, with less expensive batteries, the time for hydrogen has come.

“Eighteen months ago, when people talked about hydrogen in the airline industry, people thought you were a little crazy,” Iain Gray, director of aerospace at Cranfield University, told CNN Travel.

“But now hydrogen has become something that everyone sees as the most important solution to the problem of zero carbon,” says Gray. Cranfield has been assisting ZeroAvia – founders who have received $ 2.7m ($ 3.3 million) from the UK government to develop aerospace technology, to complete the world’s first commercial hydrogen flight at Cranfield Airport in September.

All one by one for all

ZEROe Airbus zero-emission concept aircraft

Airbus has released this translation of the concept of turbofan.


The three ZEROZ systems include a 120-200 human turbofan with 2000+ nautical miles, capable of continuous operation and powered by a hydrogen fuel engine. Liquid hydrogen is stored and distributed through tanks located in the rear circulation.

Then there is the 100-passenger plane that uses a turboprop engine powered by hydrogen combustion in the electric switching engines. It can travel more than 1,000 nautical trips, making it an ideal destination for short-term travel.

However, the real dialogue in the three – pictured above in this article – is a “body of mixed wings,” in which the wings combine with the plane’s fuselage to form a smooth surface, like “flying wings”. The system shares its DNA-producing aircraft with Airbus’s MAVERIC aircraft, which were tested on aircraft last year to see the energy saving of the future type of aircraft.

It looks like some from Star Trek, a hydrogen-powered hydraulic jet that can carry up to 200 passengers. Its unique design allows it to have a new look for indoor airplanes, while providing ample storage space for hydrogen.

An aircraft manufacturer in Europe has unveiled a new twist design that promises to reduce fuel by 20%.

How the hydrogen jet works

Hydrogen can be used in a variety of ways to make aircraft: It can burn directly through modified electric motors; can convert electrical energy, using fuel oil; and hydrogen combined with CO2 can be used to make the fuel.

“For us, it is very important to combine the first two components of the three components – to have a direct combustion of hydrogen through renewable energy, and an integrated, fuel-efficient electric motor,” says Vittadini of Airbus.

“To improve this process, we already have a pipeline downtime, which may be necessary, especially in terms of threats such as refueling such a plane and the careful storage and distribution of hydrogen in the aircraft,” he adds.

Can existing jet engines run on hydrogen?

Since it has already been proven that jet fuel can be replaced by existing jets, the question now is whether hydrogen can also be a “lower” fuel.

This is something that Rolls-Royce (which is not compatible with the ZEROe program) has been looking at, by successfully testing its Trent engines and the combination of hydrogen / paraffin in the past.

“Moving to 100% hydrogen may require a change in the design of the electronics system,” Alan Newby, director of aerospace technology and future program on Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, tells CNN Travel.

But Newby also points out that the biggest problem is regulating the temperature of the fire and stabilizing it in the combustion system. There is also the question of changing fuel efficiency and management, in particular hydrogen fluid. Another warning, he estimates, is that one kilogram of hydrogen has more than three times as much energy as kerosene, but most of all, it is five times as much energy.

“The reason for the answer is – yes, it is possible but there must be a major focus on the renewal of the engine and the focus on fuel production as a complete solution and take the whole process,” says Newby.

ZEROe Airbus zero-emission concept aircraft

This is the ZEROZELE turboprop thought plane.


How these ideas can change commercial airlines

The unveiling of the Airbus concept represents an important milestone in terms of the reserves of people who have taken hydrogen at the highest levels of the industry.

Of course, attempts to continue with small aircraft and drones using hydrogen and hydrogen cells are many. However, the Airbus announcement shows a dramatic shift in the airline industry, with hydrogen becoming the norm for medium and medium-sized travel between 2030 and beyond.

“But there’s no need to talk about hydrogen flight if you don’t look at how it works,” warns Gray.

Aviation “has to deal with the entire carbon crisis in all its forms, looking at airports, improving air traffic control, flights, and transportation to and from the airport,” he explains.

Unfortunately, discussions between those involved seem to be taking place.

Glenn Llewellyn of Airbus says: “This is making a huge difference in the electrical and aviation industry.” “We have already started working with airlines, power companies, and airports because such changes require cooperation between the industry and within the aviation industry to make this possible.”

The importance of the whole process goes hand in hand with the hope among airport operators to reduce their emissions – hydrogen can lead to many aspects of construction.

For example, in 2015, Memphis International Airport hosted two years of international demonstrations of gas, hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment, saving 175,000 gallons of diesel and 1,700 tons of CO2.

Specifically at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, hydrogen production and distribution facilities are being set up to launch hydrogen-powered buses.

What makes hydrogen a sufficient fuel for the airport is that it can be produced locally and from waste waste.

The Finnish airport company Finavia is one of the few that is exploring how it can help.

“We are looking at how we can use waste streams at the Finavia airport, including waste from glycol (water used to make flying aircraft) to produce hydrogen,” said Henri Hansson, vice president of construction and sustainability.

ZEROe Airbus zero-emission concept aircraft

This translation features three graphic flying saucers in design.


Great jump for easy air travel

Having the same fuel that planes and airports equally use is a completely revolutionary change in the market.

The development of hydrogen aircraft and the amount of its benefits to the environment will depend on the magnitude of what will happen in the coming years. Airbus’ Vittadini says that “our estimate is that they will pay more than 50% for our pilot inspections.”

However, there are still many technological barriers ahead of the commercialization of any type of large hydrogen aircraft.

This is mainly due to weight and size, says Newby, “as well as” due to the reliability and security of the highly established companies, which require barriers to greater technological development to be achieved, especially in the public transport sector. “

And a hydrogen-powered plane is not a silver bullet, he says. It will take a variety of solutions, including jet fuel, electricity, hybrids and electric generators, lighting various services, to help these companies achieve its goals.

“With the best time, small hydrogen-powered planes can be available in less than a decade,” says Newby.

What does this mean for flying

Until Airbus is established, it is too early to know what the cabin of its cabin will look like or what the spectators will look like.

But what can be predicted is what will be heard from a human point of view. Hydrogen could be the solution to shame, if Airbus could get ZEROe off the ground.

Establishing these principles in the midst of the epidemic may be frustrating for Airbus, as people have now had time, drawn, to consider the possibility of boarding cheap flights while acknowledging how they affect the world.

“Covid, surprisingly, has reminded many people what the world looks like when they don’t see oppression and don’t hear the big engines,” says Gray. “Flying, on the seam, is not a problem; air is the problem we want to solve.”

“Flying has given people around the world the opportunity to travel and be professional, which is why they have to deal with emissions and carbon problems. Hydrogen is a game changer, and companies have it.”

Paul Sillers is a professional journalist with expertise in public transportation and future travel expertise. Follow her on @paulsillers

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