Representing approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the aviation industry is in need of a disruptive change to its ‘business as usual’ if it is to meet its net zero objectives by 2050. One energy carrier emerging as a game-changing contender in the transformation of the sector is hydrogen, and Airbus is ready to be the catalyst for change.
With a 50-year track record of innovation, technological firsts and industry milestones, the designer and manufacturer of aerospace products, services and solutions to a customer base worldwide has indeed been ‘making it fly’ since the 1960s. In 1972, Airbus’ first aircraft, and the world’s first wide-body twin-aisle commercial aircraft, the A300B, performed its maiden flight, which at the time signalled the first steps towards changing the face of modern aviation. And Airbus is once again set to transform flight.
The aerospace giant has made no secret of its zest for hydrogen, unveiling three hydrogen-based aircraft concepts in 2020 along with its ambition to bring the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to commercial service by 2035. Airbus says it’s committed to leading the decarbonisation of the aerospace sector including reducing the CO2 emissions of its aircraft, helicopters, satellites and launch vehicles, as well as its industrial environmental footprint. Internal Airbus calculations estimate that hydrogen has the potential to reduce aviation’s CO2 emissions by up to 50%. As the company puts it itself, “Our approach is not only ambitious, but rather a seismic shift for our industry.”
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