Airbus will test the A380 on hydrogen

(ORDO NEWS) — The retired aircraft will become a testing ground for the new fuel. Airbus is counting on hydrogen fuel – it is planned to test the aircraft on hydrogen by the end of this decade

In December 2021, the end of the Airbus A380 era came – the 251st and last copy of the largest production aircraft in the world was handed over to the customer. The aircraft operator is Emirates Airlines, based in the United Arab Emirates, which is the largest operator of this model in the world – in its fleet, including the new board, 123 copies of the Airbus A380.

But in 2026, a new chapter in the history of the liner may begin. The French aerospace concern, together with the engine manufacturer CFM International, a joint venture between the aviation division of General Electric and the French Safran, intends to fly a plane that will use hydrogen as fuel. At the same time, the serial operation of hydrogen aircraft will not begin until 2035.

“One of the big problems with using hydrogen fuel is that it will require additional equipment to store it, which adds to the weight of the aircraft, reducing the number of people or the amount of cargo that the aircraft can carry,” said Richard Abulafia , managing director of aviation consulting company Aerodynamic Advisory.

That is why the Airbus A380 was chosen as the test aircraft, as it has room for liquid hydrogen tanks and other equipment.

Airbus will test the A380 on hydrogen 2

What is known for the Airbus A380

The first flight of the Airbus A380 took place on April 27, 2005, and the operation of the liner began on October 25, 2007. The wide-body, double-deck, four-engine aircraft can fly up to 15,400 km non-stop, carrying up to 525 passengers in a three-class cabin or 853 passengers in a single-class cabin configuration.

A total of 251 copies of the liner were produced, and the last board was photographed with the first copy of the Airbus A380 even before bringing it to its final form.

The removal of the aircraft from production is dictated both by changes in the structure of air transportation and by the crisis in the industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, it turned out that less spacious airliners are cheaper to operate, including due to the fact that not all airports can accept the Airbus A380. As a result, some customers refused to purchase new aircraft, and some operators temporarily stopped flights on the Airbus A380.

These liners, in addition to Emirates Airlines, are in the fleet of Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas Airways, British Airways, Air France, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Qatar Airways and a number of other airlines that have less than a dozen such aircraft.

Recall that after the end of production of the Airbus A380, the largest production aircraft in the world will be the double-deck wide-body passenger Boeing 747-8. However, his leadership will not last long – the American aerospace concern announced its intention to stop assembling this model of the liner in 2022.

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