“The race to decarbonize flight just picked up speed. Airbus and CFM International said this week they’ll collaborate on tests of an aircraft engine fueled by hydrogen.
As races go, this is a long-distance one. The partners will go to work immediately, with the aim of performing the first tests around the middle of this decade. This demonstration could pave the way for an aircraft that, if all goes according to plan, would carry passengers in the mid-2030s while producing no carbon emissions during flight.
Airbus, the French aerospace manufacturer, first announced its plans to fly on hydrogen in September 2020, dubbing the project “ZEROe.” The plane-maker unveiled three concept aircraft at the time that would rely on hydrogen as a primary power source and would “help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035,” said CEO Guillaume Faury.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
Hydrogen, which happens to be the most abundant element in the universe, produces no CO2 emissions when it burns. It has long been held up as a possible potent ally in humanity’s quest to curb carbon emissions.”