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‘India will make a significant contribution to making world’s first zero-emission aircraft’: Airbus official

Airbus’s first ZEROe plane to be ready by 2035; India will contribute to its design, research and development

Airbus’s first ZEROe plane to be ready by 2035; India will contribute to its design, research and development

Commercial airplane maker Airbus said its first zero emission (ZEROe) aircraft will be ready by 2035 and India will play a key role in its design, research and development.

Siddhartha Balachandran, Head, Innovation and Scale, Airbus India and South Asia, said the aircraft maker will see its first emission-free aircraft ready for service by 2035.

“Work has already begun to build the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft and Airbus India is involved in the design and future development of the Zero aircraft,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of an Airbus event in Bengaluru.

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

Hydrogen propulsion will power this future aircraft, as these zero-emission aircraft will use liquid hydrogen as fuel for combustion with oxygen.

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

Commenting on the decarbonization initiative of the aviation industry, Mr. Balachandran said, the sector has contributed only 2 to 2.5% of the total CO2 emissions. He added that Airbus’ aircraft have been certified to fly with a 50% mix of SAF, while it aims to achieve 100% SAF certification by 2030.

According to him, the country has immense 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 to sustainability, he said about 63% of the Indian fleet consists of fuel efficient, new generation aircraft, as opposed to only 20% worldwide.

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