Leading aviation manufacturers outline sustainable flight commitments; hydrogen to play a major role

Leading aviation manufacturers outline sustainable flight commitments; hydrogen to play a major role

Seven of the world’s major aviation manufacturers have strengthened their stance on sustainable aviation, having committed to investigating hydrogen as a fuel of the future for aircraft, among other promises.

Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce, Safran and Go Beyond are the seven parties that on Tuesday (Oct 26) renewed a shared commitment as they work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Under such promises, the companies said they will deliver the technical solutions required to decarbonise aviation through three key areas:

  1. Advancing the state-of-the-art in aircraft and engine design and technology.
  2. Supporting increased availability and adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel and investigating hydrogen as a fuel of the future.
  3. Continuing to mature novel technologies that will eventually enable net-zero carbon aviation while maintain the safety and quality standards of the industry.

News of the commitment follows various commitments from aircraft manufacturers that state that hydrogen flights could be in service as early as 2024, something that ZeroAvia confirms only last week.

Read more: Hydrogen-electric flights between the Netherlands and UK to enter service by 2024

Through increasing both the availability and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel, the consortium believes a potential 90% of overall carbon life cycle emissions could be reduced. At present current aviation standards enable the use of sustainable aviation fuel blends in proportions up to 50% with conventional fuel.

Building upon this, the consortium of aviation manufacturers want to adoption 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Through doing this, the firms are all evaluating sustainable fuels into daily activities – and they want hydrogen to be a part of this.

“We firmly believe that hydrogen will play a key role in the sustainable future of aviation as a source of cleaner energy, regardless of its final application. Our companies are currently exploring a variety of such potential applications,” a statement from the group reads.

As well as the groups involved in this huge commitment, we are also seeing numerous players involved in aviation, airports included, back hydrogen. In fact, just the other week Universal Hydrogen (UH) secured $85m in capital to advance the first test flight of hydrogen-powered regional aircraft in 2022.

And in keeping with the players specifically involved here, Airbus and Plug Power last month unveiled that they have partnered on a landmark study to investigate the feasibility of bringing green hydrogen to airports and aircraft operations worldwide.

Exclusive: ZeroAvia to have first hydrogen-electric aircraft in commercial operation by 2023

“In three years’ time, we are going to have in commercial operation the first aircraft powered by hydrogen-electric engines, and you will be able to buy a ticket to one of your favourite destinations.”

That’s what ZeroAvia founder and CEO Dr. Val Mifthakov told viewers watching the final instalment of H2 View’s three-part series of webinars, powered by gasworld TV, and hosted by H2 View’s Managing Editor Rob Cockerill, today.

Founded in 2017, ZeroAvia is currently developing a new type of engine based on hydrogen fuel cells that aims to transform the highly pollutant aerospace industry into a cleaner sector.

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