Embraer reveals new hydrogen jets as part of its Energia initiativeDecember 12, 2022
The Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer unveiled four jets.
The new conceptual low-emission aircrafts mark a shift toward the potential development of lager hydrogen jets powered by fuel cells as well as aircrafts powered by hybrid-electric propulsion.
Two of the four jets will be powered by hydrogen-electric propulsion.
The four jets that were recently unveiled by Embraer include two 19- and 30-seat aircrafts fueled by hydrogen-electric propulsion and two 19- and 30-seat aircrafts powered by hybrid-electric propulsion.
The hybrid-electric and hydrogen jets are part of the company’s Energia initiative. Launched a year ago, the new Energia aircraft program is part of Embraer’s path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“We have set bold but realistic goals for these concepts to come to market,” said president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, Arjan Meijer, during a recent webinar. “Since we announced our Energia concepts last year, we’ve been busy evaluating different architectures and propulsion systems.
The Embraer hydrogen jets are expected to be in service by 2035.
In addition to using these new cleaner technologies to power the aircraft, Embraer must also ensure that it can fly at 30,000 feet in temperatures of -60 degrees Celsius (-76 degrees Fahrenheit).
To start, the company will produce smaller aircraft platforms with 200-mile ranges first, as the new technology can be applied faster to smaller jets compared to the larger aircraft. Both jet types will have rear-mounted engines. However, the hydrogen-powered jets will be equipped with fuel cells and will have longer wings to protect the propellers. They will also feature exchangers to dispel heat from the hydrogen fuel cells.
“We’re designing workhorses for aviation, not just a jet that will reduce emissions,” said Embraer’s head of product development, Raphael Gama Ribeiro.
The hybrid-electric aircraft type is expected to be in service by as early as 2030, while the hydrogen-electric aircraft should be in the skies by 2035.
That being said, Embraer isn’t the only multinational aerospace company with its sights set on hydrogen jets. Recently, Airbus announced it will be testing hydrogen on the largest commercial airplane ever to fly. The company made its H2 announcement at the Airbus Summit 2022.