Airbus tells EU hydrogen will not be extensively utilized in planes earlier than 2050

, Airbus tells EU hydrogen will not be extensively utilized in planes earlier than 2050


  • Airbus sees conventional jet engines dominating to 2050
  • Presentation to EU casts doubt on hydrogen push
  • Boeing has additionally dominated out main hydrogen use earlier than 2050

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) – Most airliners will depend on conventional jet engines till not less than 2050, Airbus (AIR.PA) advised European Union officers in a briefing launched on Thursday on its analysis into creating zero-emissions hydrogen fuelled planes.

The planemaker says it plans to develop the world’s first zero-emission industrial plane by 2035, however has not publicly stated whether or not the expertise will probably be prepared for the alternative for the medium-haul A320, as a result of be rolled out within the 2030s.

February’s briefing to EU officers appeared to rule this out.

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“Zero-emission hydrogen plane will probably be primarily targeted on regional and shorter-range plane from 2035. Which implies that present and future iterations of extremely environment friendly fuel generators will nonetheless be required as we transfer in direction of 2050, particularly for long-haul operations,” the presentation stated.

It didn’t give any particulars on how the expertise, which continues to be on the drafting board, can be launched into the smaller planes. Airbus says it’s nonetheless learning varied ideas.

Slides from the presentation to the workplace of European Fee Vice-President Frans Timmermans have been launched by InfluenceMap, an investor-led local weather lobbying watchdog which stated it obtained them by a freedom of knowledge request.

They have been a part of a wider set of paperwork issued by the watchdog, which stated airways and producers had urged policymakers to make use of EU-backed inexperienced stimulus funds to assist aviation. read more

Airbus declined detailed touch upon the February assembly.

Though analysis stays at an early stage, attainable paths to alternative of the A320 are already a significant focus of debate as rival Boeing (BA.N) ponders find out how to shore up the competing 737 MAX and engine makers deal with evolving fuel generators.

Boeing (BA.N) Chief Govt Dave Calhoun final week dominated out utilizing hydrogen on a big scale earlier than 2050.

Hydrogen has additionally taken centre-stage in talks over European authorities assist for aviation through the COVID-19 disaster.

In June final yr, France introduced a rise in funding for the CORAC aviation analysis physique together with 1.5 billion euros over three years for expertise equivalent to hydrogen, rescuing 500 out of 15,000 jobs threatened by an Airbus restructuring.

In briefing notes, the finance ministry listed targets for funding together with hydrogen as a major vitality supply for a successor to the A320 that might enter service in 2033-2035.


Trade officers have performed down the prospect of a change to hydrogen for the A320 household’s alternative due to the plane’s dimension and vary, and infrastructure wanted globally. Airbus says an A320 takes off or lands each 1.6 seconds.

Airbus officers say the analysis will, in any occasion, seed disruptive expertise more likely to play a job within the subsequent era of airplanes.

Airbus engineering chief Jean-Brice Dumont advised the French AJPAE media affiliation on Thursday that hydrogen was considered one of a number of paths in direction of the decarbonisation of aviation and it was too early to say in what a part of the market it might be used.

“We’re probably slicing up the market differently however it’s far too early to speak about it,” he stated.

As an interim step, Airbus and others have known as for extra use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in current planes. Airbus stated on Thursday it might test-fly an A320 with 100% SAF by the tip of this yr. Present rules enable a 50% combine.

In February’s presentation, Airbus displayed business forecasts suggesting the A320’s medium-haul class of 150-250 seats can be powered by sustainable aviation gas (SAF) first, and “probably some hydrogen” from 2050.

A smaller area of interest between 100-150 seats, which incorporates its A220 and Embraer (EMBR3.SA) E2, would use electrical energy, hydrogen and/or SAF from 2040, whereas solely regional 50-100 seaters can be prepared for hydrogen within the 2030s.

Airbus at the moment serves that market by its 50-70-seat ATR turboprop co-venture with Italy’s Leonardo (LDOF.MI).

In September final yr, Airbus introduced three ideas for a hydrogen airplane to enter service in 2035 together with a turboprop, a traditional-looking twin-engined airplane powered by hybrid-hydrogen engines and a extra radical blended-wing physique plane.

Airbus has stated it can select the ultimate product for a brand new decarbonised airplane in 2025. The briefing stated it might additionally slender down the selection of idea as early as mid-2022.

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Reporting by Tim Hepher and Laurence Frost
Enhancing by Mark Potter

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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