An exciting look at future sustainable propulsion plans

When it comes to powering commercial aircraft, a revolution is starting to take place. It might be in its early stages but its about to take off in a big way, as Selwyn Parker explains

Embraer Energia
In 2021, Embraer unveiled its Energia family of aircraft, designed to evolve with new propulsion technologies
EMBRAER

As engine manufacturers continue to refine today’s powerplants, the engines of tomorrow are taking shape in what is certain to be a highly disruptive but exciting transition for the airline industry.

At current predictions, airliners powered by hydrogen or a hydrogen-electric hybrid could enter commercial flight as early as 2025. Excluding the numerous three-to five-seat electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) concepts currently under development in urban-mobility projects, smaller turboprops look as though they will clear the regulatory hoops first, with 40-seater regional jets following a few years later and 90-seaters from the early to mid 2030s. However, there’s a mountain to climb before hydrogen power, in particular, becomes the default choice.

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