‘India to significantly contribute to making of world’s first zero-emission aircraft: Airbus official

Airbus’ first ZEROe aircraft will be ready by 2035; India will contribute to itsdesign, research and development

Airbus’ first ZEROe aircraft will be ready by 2035; India will contribute to itsdesign, research and development

Commercial airplane maker Airbus said it would have it’s first zero emission (ZEROe) aircraft ready by 2035 and India would play a significant role in its design, research and development.

Siddarth Balachandran, head, innovation & scale, Airbus India and South Asia said the aircraft manufacturer would see its maiden emission-free aircraft ready in service by 2035.

“The work towards building the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft has already begun and Airbus India is involved in the design and future development of the ZEROe aircraft,’‘ he told in an interview on the sidelines of an Airbus event in Bengaluru.

Airbus’ ZEROe aircraft is expected to enable the company explore a variety of configurations and hydrogen technologies that will shape the development of its future zero-emission aircraft.

Hydrogen propulsion would power this future aircraft, as liquid hydrogen would be used as fuel for combustion with oxygen in these zero-emission aircraft.

Airbus recently introduced its ZEROe demonstrator to test hydrogen combustion technology on an A380 multimodal platform. Through future ground and flight testing, the company expects to achieve a mature technology readiness level for a hydrogen-combustion propulsion system.

Commenting on the decarbonisation initiatives of the aviation industry, Mr. Balachandran said, the sector contributed only 2 to 2.5% to the total CO2 emission. Airbus’ aircraft are certified to fly with an up to 50% blend of SAF while its goal is to achieve a certification of 100% SAF by 2030, he added.

According to him, the country has a huge potential to become a SAF production hub. SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) is a biofuel used to power aircraft that has similar properties to conventional jet fuel but with a smaller carbon footprint.

On India’s commitment towards sustainability, he said some 63% of the Indian fleet comprised fuel-efficient, new generation aircraft as opposed to only 20% worldwide.

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