Airbus announced on Monday, September 21, that the first zero-emission flights could take place as soon as 2035, using one of three hydrogen-powered aircraft designs.

The company unveiled artists’s conceptions of the three aircraft. While two appear very similar to present-day aircraft, except with extended wings, the third is much more futuristic and involves a’blended-wing body.’

Glenn Llewellyn, Airbus VP, Zero-Emission Aircraft, said: “As recently as five years ago, hydrogen propulsion wasn’t even on our radar as a viable emission-reduction technology pathway.

“But convincing data from other transport industries quickly changed all that. Today, we’re excited by the incredible potential hydrogen offers aviation in terms of disruptive emissions reduction.” He added that battery technology still has too far to go to meet a target date of 15 years from now.

The turbofan design has the potential to transport up to 200 passengers more than 2,000 miles. The turboprop plane could carry half as many, half the distance.

ILLUSTRATION: Airbus