Airbus and Air New Zealand announce joint hydrogen aircraft initiativeSeptember 24, 2021
The plane manufacturer is currently examining three H2-powered craft designs.
Airbus is currently looking into three different hydrogen aircraft concepts, which include turbofan, turboprop, and blended wing designs.
Air New Zealand has joined the manufacturer in researching the way H2 can power a fleet.
Air New Zealand and Airbus have together announced a joint initiative in which they will be researching the ay hydrogen aircraft can be incorporated into the airline’s fleet by 2030. The two accomplished a first for the Asia-Pacific region by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together and jointly research the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission H2 planes in New Zealand.
Under the terms of this MoU, Air New Zealand will conduct an analysis on the impact that H2 powered planes may have on the airline’s operations, network and infrastructure. Airbus will be providing the H2 powered plane performance requirements and ground operations characteristics to support the airline in the development of its roadmap transitioning through decarbonization.
The companies hope this will be a powerful step to bring hydrogen aircraft to New Zealand.
Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand, says that the MoU is an exciting new direction to build understanding of how H2 planes will be introduced into the country.
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan added that this agreement provides an opportunity for the company to participate in the design and definition of they way H2 powered planes will be incorporated into their own operations.
“We’ll be working closely with Airbus to understand opportunities and challenges, including achievable flying range and what ground infrastructure or logistics changes may be required to implement this technology in New Zealand,” said Morgan.
Anand Stanley, president of Airbus Asia-Pacific, said that the plane manufacturer chose to align with Air New Zealand on this hydrogen aircraft project because of the airline’s reputation for technical excellence, commitment to sustainability, and comparable decarbonization goals.
“This agreement with Air New Zealand will provide us with important insights about how we could put a zero-emission aircraft into service. The joint study will enable us to gain invaluable feedback on what airlines will expect and their preferences in terms of configuration and performance,” said Stanley.