Video shows aircraft concept for 2035 that could help industry reach net zero

The new concepts are part of the company’s initiative to get the aviation industry to net-zero by 2050.
Fabienne Lang
Embraer's new aircraft concepts
Embraer's new aircraft concepts

Embraer 

Brazilian aerospace company Embraer announced new aircraft concepts this week to reduce carbon emissions. The new concepts would also help the aviation industry meet its net-zero climate goals by 2050, a company report explains.

The news comes a year after the company detailed the study of four new aircraft concepts powered by new technologies and renewable energies amid the backdrop of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which addressed what governments can do to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Now, the company plans to focus on two 19-30 seater designs for hybrid electric and hydrogen electric propulsion. Combining Embraer's previous aircraft concepts and its more recent two, the combination of these two approaches to net-zero offer a technically realistic and economically feasible pathway to net-zero.

Embraer's two new aircraft concepts

One of the two new aircraft concepts is called Energia Hybrid. Originally revealed as a nine-seater in 2021, Embraer is now exploring a 19 and a 30 seater variant. This aircraft includes parallel hybrid-electric propulsion, up to 90 percent CO2 emissions reduction when using SA, a 19 seat and a 30 seat variant, rear-mounted engines, and technology ready for its release in the early 2030s.

The second concept is the Energia H2 Fuel Cell, which was put forward as a 19-seat option in 2021 and is now being explored as a 30-seater option. It boasts hydrogen electric propulsion, zero CO2 emissions, two seat variants (19 and 30), rear-mounted electric engines, and technology ready by 2035.

Nothing is yet set in stone, as both aircraft concepts' architectures and technologies are still being assessed for technical and commercial viability.

In the company's President and CEO, Arjan Meijer, own words, “I believe we have set bold but realistic goals for these concepts to come to market. Since we announced our Energia concepts last year, we have been busy evaluating different architectures and propulsion systems."

"These efforts have resulted in the updates of our concepts that we are sharing with you today. A number of airlines are part of our Energia Advisory Group, the experience and knowledge they bring to the study will be key to accelerate to the next phases," he continued.

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The company is in the unique position to trial its new propulsion technologies on its smaller aircraft.

"The 19 and 30 seaters are sensible starting points for focused studies since they are likely to present earlier technical and economical readiness,” said Luis Carlos Affonso, Sr. VP of Engineering, Technology and Corporate Strategy at Embraer.

“While the challenges of net-zero are significant, in less than 25 years our commercial aircraft have already reduced fuel burn and CO2 emissions by almost 50% on a seat/mile basis, using only conventional fuels and propulsion – I’m convinced net-zero is a goal we can reach," he said.

The company broadcast a live stream video on its YouTube channel (above) this week, detailing its Energia plans and featuring a 360° tour of two of the concepts Embraer is focusing on — Energia H2 Fuel Cell and Energia Hybrid Electric.

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