New Hydrogen Airliner Concept Would Travel Halfway Across the World with Zero Carbon Emissions

New Hydrogen Airliner Concept Would Travel Halfway Across the World with Zero Carbon Emissions

A novel hydrogen-powered aircraft design presented Monday might allow passengers to go anywhere in the globe while emitting zero carbon dioxide, cutting travel time and lowering the environmental effect of international travel. 

The FlyZero project, which would fly at the same speed as a regular aircraft but with a much-increased range, may make travel between the United States and Australia, London, and beyond a single-trip affair, with the first flights scheduled for the mid-2030s.

“The Aerospace Technology Institute’s groundbreaking study demonstrates hydrogen’s potential in achieving zero-carbon global connection.” “Through the work of the Jet Zero Council, the UK aviation sector is investigating all paths to ensure we maintain the advantages of flying for future generations while decreasing the carbon cost,” said Jet Zero CEO Emma Gilthorpe in a statement.

The plane would run on liquid hydrogen, a fuel that has been studied for years in both airplanes and vehicles and provides substantially more energy than aviation kerosene while emitting no CO2. Aside from the environmental benefits, liquid hydrogen is about one-third the weight of kerosene for the same flying distance, allowing airplanes to extend their range and avoid those inconvenient mid-flight stopovers.

Each plane would feature two enormous cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen tanks in the back, balanced by two smaller tanks in the front. Fuel was typically kept in the wings of regular airplanes, but putting it in the front and back eliminates the need for any additional aerodynamic structures to keep the plane afloat.

The team behind the concept, which was created at the Aerospace Technology Institute in the United Kingdom, believes it will be tremendous potential for consumers and governments to cut travel’s carbon footprint while also creating new employment. “At a time when the world is focused on addressing climate change, our midsize idea lays out a genuinely innovative vision for the future of global air travel, connecting families, companies, and nations without leaving a carbon footprint,” stated Chris Gear, project director for FlyZero.

“This new era in aviation presents a tremendous opportunity for the UK aerospace sector to capture market share, highly skilled employment, and inward investment while also helping the UK fulfill its climate change objectives.”

While hydrogen appears to be a potential alternative for land, air, and sea transport in the future, it still faces considerable obstacles. As previously stated, it must keep at cryogenic temperatures, which makes vehicle design difficult. 

Furthermore, while hydrogen is carbon neutral when burned, the method of manufacture is currently far from it: roughly, 95 percent of all hydrogen in the United States is created by steam methane reforming, which utilizes fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide. Other approaches for reducing the carbon footprint of hydrogen generation investigated, but none has yet made it into the industrial sector.