Airbus reveals zero-emission aircraft
Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. These concepts each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight, exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations in order to support the Company’s ambition of leading the way in the decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry.
All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.
“This is a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector as a whole and we intend to play a leading role in the most important transition this industry has ever seen. The concepts we unveil today offer the world a glimpse of our ambition to drive a bold vision for the future of zero-emission flight,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. “I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen – both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft – has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact.”
The three concepts – all codenamed “ZEROe” – for a first climate neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include:
If hydrogen technology development progresses at the expected rate, Airbus’ highly anticipated zero-emission commercial aircraft is expected to roll off the assembly line for entry-into-service by 2035.
To meet this ambitious 2035 target, Airbus will need to launch the ZEROe aircraft programme by 2025. This time frame gives Airbus engineers approximately five years to mature all the required hydrogen technologies. Over the coming months, several hydrogen demonstrator programmes, which will test hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion technologies respectively, are estimated to be formally launched. A full-scale aircraft prototype is estimated to arrive by the late 2020s.
“The ZEROe will be the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft,” says Jean-Brice. “As an engineer, I can’t think of working on anything more exciting than that.”
Clarification on BA status extension
If you didn’t get a chance to read Mr Brightside’s article on what to do if you don’t need to think about earning BA TPs for a while, you can read his article here.
A few readers, particularly with an expiry date in July 2020, queried this statement
“Depending on the dates of your personal Tier Point collection year, you might therefore be free to enjoy your current level of elite status until 31 July 2022. (or even later if you upgraded your status before the extension was announced) Moreover, even the unluckiest of readers doesn’t need to THINK about collecting Tier Points until 8 July 2021 at the earliest!”
For some reason, BA did not apply their status extension to those whose status ended on 8 July 2020 – just the concession for a reduction in the number of tier points needed by 8 July 2021. There are two things to bear in mind if this is you – firstly if you have a lot of flights cancelled, make sure you keep a record as often BA will give a concession if you would have made status if your flights have not been cancelled. Secondly, I would not be at all surprised if the situation with extensions changes again. BA will not give away extensions if they don’t need to, but if the situation with very few countries being open and on the UK travel corridor list continues, it would be in their interests to further extend the status concessions, particularly for those in the July group.
Those that had also achieved status anyway were also penalised without the extra year, again hopefully something BA may well rectify.
Will the government block private tests for travel?
You may be aware that we have been featuring how to get a COVID test for travel. This is particularly important at the moment when the government are being clear that the NHS should not be used for testing unless you have symptoms and tests are in very short supply. One of the clinics featured in the article informed us today that they have been told by their usual laboratory results supplier that they will no longer do tests for leisure travel abroad, only business travel. This supplier is one of the main ones for private testing. Given the shortage of tests and the bad publicity, I would not be surprised if the government tried to use some of the private testing capacity to get back on track. As yet, other companies appear to still be selling tests, so hopefully, other suppliers may bridge the gap.
I will keep you updated if I find out any more information.