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Airbus partners with Perth company on hydrogen aircraft

written by Staff reporter | March 9, 2022

Airbus’ ZEROe Turbofan hydrogen-based aircraft concept. (Airbus)

Airbus has partnered with Perth-based renewable energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to collaborate on the development of hydrogen-focused low emission solutions for the aviation sector.

The European planemaker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Australia’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) – aimed at supporting the entry-into-service of Airbus’ ZEROe hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2035 to help achieve net-zero emissions targets.

As part of the MOU, the companies are expected to study the challenges of hydrogen regulations, supply, infrastructure and fuelling for aviation, ranging from the production of hydrogen to its delivery to airports and transfer onboard aircraft.

FFI is expected to provide cost outlook and technology drivers across the supply chain, while also building infrastructure deployment scenarios for the supply of green hydrogen to targeted airports.

“The time is now for a green revolution in the aviation industry. This exciting collaboration brings together leaders in the aviation industry with leaders in green energy for a better, greener, cleaner future,” FFI founder and chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said.

“… People want to be able to see their friends and loved ones in other countries. They want to be able to explore new places. They want to see the world. But we also want there to be a world for the future.

“By helping to enable a greener aviation industry, we pave the way for the future generation to be able to live in this global society too, and doing so without sacrificing the planet.”

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Meanwhile, Airbus has pledged to provide characteristics on fleet energy usage, scenarios for hydrogen demand in aviation, refuelling specifications and aviation regulatory framework.

“Partnerships and cross-sectoral approaches are a necessity to make zero-emission aviation a reality. Airbus is preparing itself to put a zero-emission aircraft in service by 2035,” Glenn Llewellyn, Airbus VP of zero emission aircraft, said.

“But this will only be possible if we can ensure enough green hydrogen is produced worldwide and I’m thrilled to see FFI enthusiasm with regards to our ambition.”

Article courtesy of Defence Connect.

Comment (1)

  • jdghkfg

    says:

    Glenn Llewellyn and Dr Andrew Forrest won’t be on the job in 2035 so they don’t have to worry about any sort of accountability since these hydrogen aircraft will not be in service by then. Making a brand new airliner from scratch and entering it into service using convential design takes a full decade these days if it is fully financed and there are no big issues on the way. The thought that one powered by Hydrogen, which will require many changes in design over conventional design, would be made from scratch and entered into service in 14 years is just farcical.

    The Hydrogen for instance, needs to be pressurised and cooled to -253C in order for it to be stored in tanks in liquid form. This requires bulky re-inforced and insulated cylindrical tanks which will not be able to be stored inside the wings like JetA1 can. Nor would it be safe to store it in the belly area due to crash safety concerns. This is just one of the design challenges. Then everything needs to be tested above and beyond normal levels because there is a lot of unknown in using hydrogen propulsion for thousands of hours over the lifecycle of an airliner. Who are they kidding in thinking they can have it all done and in service in just 14 years?

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