The airline manufacturer Airbus has unveiled ambitious plans for the world's first zero-emission aircraft. The aerospace giant predicts its hydrogen-powered commercial airplanes could be in service by 2035. The concept revealed by company engineers shows a shift away from battery power. Many in the industry believe batteries are the way forward for carbon-zero airplanes. However, Airbus says batteries could prove impractical for large airliners and have opted for hydrogen propulsion. A company spokesperson said the transition to hydrogen would require "decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem". This means redesigned airports and significantly different refuelling infrastructure.
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Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the company has three possible designs, one of which will be adopted as a business enterprise. He said the three "ZEROe" designs represented "a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector as a whole". Mr Faury said: "We intend to play a leading role in the most important transition this industry has ever seen." He added that the use of hydrogen as a fuel had "the potential to significantly reduce aviation's climate impact". Faury was upbeat about the future, saying: "With the support from government and industrial partners, we can rise up to this challenge to scale up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry."