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Thursday, 8 December 2022

Airbus is experimenting with hydrogen to fuel jets

Airbus is working on a hydrogen-powered engine to power up a modified A380 superjumbo, according to a statement. The French aviation company had previously worked on designs for liquid hydrogen fuel and combustion engines, but found that fuel cells alone may be able to power small commercial aircrafts. Test flights are estimated for 2026, as part of the Airbus ZEROe initiative to launch a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

How it works: Fuel cells would convert the hydrogen into electricity to power up propellers. “At scale, and if the technology targets were achieved, fuel cell engines may be able to power a 100-passenger aircraft with a range of approximately 1k nautical miles,” Airbus’ VP of Zero-Emission Aircraft Glenn Llewellyn says.

Rolls Royce is also on a net zero flight hunt: The luxury car maker is currently testing the use of hydrogen to power jets, but it looks like they still have a long way to go — the low-carbon fuel requires four times as much space as the traditional aviation fuel used to fly the same distance.

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