The prospect of zero-emission air travel has long been an enticing one, and aviation companies are now claiming that it could soon become a reality – with hydrogen planes leading the way. But are these promises realistic?
The environmental impact of commercial air travel is well known. For example, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation, just one single plane ticket accounts for 3.2 metric tons of CO2 emissions – this makes it the single most emission heavy item that we can buy!
Given this, there’s no wonder why so many people have their eyes on hydrogen as a possible solution to zero-emission air travel. Hydrogen is a renewable energy source which produces only clean water vapour when burned – providing a real opportunity for carbon-free flying.
But turning this idea into reality will be no easy feat. It requires large-scale investment in infrastructure and aircraft design, as well as dedicated research into efficient propulsion and fuel systems. The success of any future hydrogen-powered airplane project also depends heavily upon public opinion and support – something which needs to be addressed if airlines want to move away from fossil fuels within the next decade.
This is an exciting but uncertain time for sustainable air travel, but if you want to learn more about the potential of hydrogen planes and other possible solutions then we highly recommend watching the documentary ‘Zero Emission Airplanes: A Flight into the Future’. This thought-provoking film takes viewers through the history of aviation technology and climate change mitigation efforts, exploring the challenges associated with transitioning to zero-emission airline operations – all whilst considering whether governments are truly taking enough action in order for us reach our global climate goals.