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Could Hydrogen-Powered Airliners Become Reality By 2030?

Could Hydrogen-Powered Airliners Become Reality By 2030?
Joe Cortez

French aircraft manufacturer Airbus says a zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered aircraft could be a reality as soon as 2030. During a webinar sponsored by FIA, leaders for the company said that they want to create an environmentally-friendly aircraft in the next decade, but it may be dependent on technology.

Could flyers ultimately board zero-emissions aircraft in the next ten years? Executives for Airbus say the concept is plausible, but is dependent on how technology develops. Leaders for the French manufacturer revealed the idea during the FIA Connect 2020 webinar, according to AIN Online.

The Path Towards Zero-Emissions Aircraft Could Start with Hydrogen

During the webinar, Airbus’ vice president of zero-emissions technology Glenn Llewellyn said that the company is bullish on producing an aircraft powered by 2030. Their focus is currently on hydrogen-power, which can be produced by either solar or wind power. From there, hydrogen fuel cells could be used to power engines, which would forward the environmentally sustainable agenda.

“We’ve been very clear recently that we have the ambition to bring a zero-emissions commercial airliner to market in the early 2030s, and one of the most promising technologies to allow us to do that is hydrogen,” Llewellyn said on the webinar, according to AIN Online. “We believe we need to position the aviation industry to be powered by renewable energy, and hydrogen is a very good surrogate for allowing us to do that.”

But for that to take place, new technology would have to be developed in the next five years to make that happen. Because both the aerospace and automotive industries are experimenting with hydrogen technology, Airbus says they would likely have to work with partners in each area to bring their vision to life.

Is Hydrogen the Next Step Towards Environmental Sustainability?

The idea of using hydrogen is the next evolution in aviation’s goal of reducing emissions over the long term. Earlier in 2020, scholars suggested that flying at different altitudes could reduce damages caused by contrails.

In addition, airlines are also offering flyers the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by selecting a biofuel option. In 2019, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) introduced an option for flyers to purchase biofuel, reducing the carrier’s dependence on traditional fossil fuels to power aircraft.

Feature image courtesy: Airbus

View Comments (3)


  1. Cedar Jet

    July 26, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Southwest may well fly the plane but will people actually want to fly in it? No thanks,its a pass from me!

  2. hfb606

    July 26, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    I would not want to be on a hydrogen-propelled aircraft. Can you say Hindenberg?

  3. jcil

    July 29, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Waste of time feel good effort. Hydrogen is a energy storage medium, not an energy source. Nearly all the hydrogen produced comes from natural gas reformation, which releases just as much carbon as burning the natural gas directly.

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