the hydrogen airplane is a “priority strategic axis” for Airbus

The development of a carbon-free hydrogen airplane constitutes a “priority strategic axis“Airbus, which unveils three concepts in order to lead to an aircraft in service in 2035, said Sunday its executive chairman Guillaume Faury in an interview with the newspaper The Parisian . «Developing a low-carbon aircraft does not require a major technological breakthrough», Considers the boss of the European aircraft manufacturer, recalling that Airbus already uses hydrogen propulsion for its satellites and the Ariane rocket.

The choice and maturation of technologies will take five years and then two for that of suppliers and industrial sites, according to him. “Therefore, the program is scheduled for around 2028. Our ambition is to be the first manufacturer to put such a device into service in 2035.», He explains. This timetable corresponds to the objective of a “carbon neutral aircraft”, Set at the beginning of June by the French government, which has planned to devote 1.5 billion euros to it by 2022 as part of its plan to support the aeronautics sector damaged by the crisis due to the coronavirus.

Airbus has prepared three concepts, explains Guillaume Faury. The first “is an aircraft of classic configuration that can go up to 200 seats with a range of action making it possible to make more than 3,500 kilometers“. The cylindrical reservoir of liquid hydrogen would be housed inside the fuselage in the rear part of the aircraft. “The second will be a propeller plane, capable of carrying around 100 passengers, for shorter journeys.” while “the third is more disruptive“, According to him: it is a”flying wing of about 200 places which allows to study a completely different configuration for hydrogen storage and propulsion».

Beyond technical developments, the regulatory framework must necessarily evolve by then to authorize the use of hydrogen in commercial aircraft, recalls Guillaume Faury. “It will also be necessary for the infrastructure at the airports to be ready and for ‘green’ hydrogen to be available in large quantities.», He pleads. Hydrogen “vert»Must be produced by electricity of renewable origin, whereas it is today much more expensive than hydrogen of fossil origin, the production of which is very polluting.

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