Airbus Bets on Hydrogen, Boeing Opts for Pragmatism

As Winston Churchill might have quipped, sustainable fuels are the worst way of greening the aviation industry, except for all other ways.

On Wednesday, Boeing said it is investing in scaling up the production of such fuels through a partnership with SkyNRG. The Dutch firm is launching North American operations, having already struck a deal with Alaska Airlines.

Since electric planes—such as the 19-seat aircraft that United Airlines and Mesa are investing in—will only fly very short ranges, the onus is on Boeing and Airbus to make their replacements for the 737 and A320 families more sustainable. Whereas Airbus has unveiled plans for hydrogen-powered aircraft to perhaps enter service by 2035, Boeing has suggested this is unlikely before 2050.

Of course, both are researching all options. But the Chicago-based company is quite publicly placing most of its green chips on sustainable fuels. Back in January, it established a goal to build planes that run 100% on them by 2030, rather than the maximum 50% blend currently allowed.

Source: The Wall Street Journal.

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