During the final quarter of 2014, an agreement was made by Airbus and South Africa’s National Aerospace Centre to jointly fund a three-year research project conducted by Hydrogen South Africa that looks into the application of fuel cells on airliners.
This follows on from the Air Transport Action Group’s policy for manufacturers to half 2005 net aviation carbon emissions by 2050 as there is urgency to search for alternative solutions to fossil-fuel based propulsion and energy sources.
Hydrogen fuel cells will be considered to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), not the jet engines. Replacing the fossil-fuel-powered APUs with hydrogen fuel cells would help achieve the goals of emission-free and low-noise aircraft operation.
The full Airbus article is available here.