Airbus looks to the future with hydrogen planes

2020/10/01 15:20

Today's Vocabulary

1. emissions (n) 
the act of sending out gas, heat, light, etc.

2. touted (v)
to advertise, talk about, or praise something or someone repeatedly, especially as a way of  encouraging people to like, accept, or buy something

3. aviation (n)
the activity of flying aircraft, or of designing, producing, and keeping them in good condition

4. feasibility (n)
the possibility that can be made, done, or achieved, or is reasonable

5. hybrid (n) 
something that is a mixture of two very different things

6. blueprints (n) 
a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Airbus looks to the future with hydrogen planes

Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled plans for what it hailed as the first commercial zero-emission aircraft.

The company said its hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes could be in service by 2035. The concept of emissions-free aviation relies heavily on finding ways to produce large quantities of hydrogen from renewable or low-carbon sources.

Analysts point out that it is not the first time that hydrogen has been touted as the saviour of modern air travel. Its use in aviation goes back to the days of airships in the early 20th Century, but the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 brought that era to an end.

More recently, from 2000 to 2002, Airbus was involved in the EU-funded Cryoplane project, which studied the feasibility of a liquid hydrogen-fuelled aircraft. After that, the idea fell out of favour again – until now.

Unveiling its latest blueprints, Airbus said its turbofan design could carry up to 200 passengers more than 2,000 miles, while a turboprop concept would have a 50% lower capacity and range.

A third, “blended-wing body” aircraft was the most eye-catching of the three designs. All three planes would be powered by gas-turbine engines modified to burn liquid hydrogen, and through hydrogen fuel cells to create electrical power.

The new Airbus designs are the fruit of a joint research project that Airbus launched with EasyJet last year to consider hybrid and electric aircraft. The airline’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “EasyJet remains absolutely committed to more sustainable flying and we know that technology is where the answer lies for the industry.


  1. Why do we travel around the world so much?
  2. How can air travel be improved?
  3. What would life be like without airplanes?

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Henry Ford