Toulouse, France - Airbus plans to replace its best selling single-aisle jet with a hybrid-electric aircraft in the future. The manufacturer aims to offer the world’s first hybrid jet to the market in 15 years.
The European aircraft manufacturer thinks the planes powered by its new propulsion technology will be available around 2035.
According to sources who know about the matter, Airbus would first produce a smaller aircraft and bring it to the same size as the A321neo overtime.
Airbus says the market should be ready for a radical shift since the increase in the numbers of commercial planes is not sustainable with the current high carbon footprint. Airbus is targeting to reduce CO2 emissions by 75% by 2050.
Airbus has been working for a while with Rolls-Royce and Siemens to develop a hybrid engine, which would produce 2 megawatts of power and begin testing it in two years.
The development of a hybrid engine would bring its own challenges such as eliminating the limited flight range and seating capacity problem.
One of the solutions is to install a conventional engine at the back of the aircraft to charge the engine batteries, in addition to producing the thrust needed to fly while electric engines are being charged.