Airbus’s Hydrogen-Powered Future Flights with 2-MW Cryoprop Superconducting Tech: Does it Save Fuel Costs?

May 25, 2024
1 min read
Airbus takes superconductivity research for hydrogen-powered aircraft a step further.( Photo Credit: Airbus )
Airbus takes superconductivity research for hydrogen-powered aircraft a step further.( Photo Credit: Airbus )

Airbus UpNext, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus, has launched a new technology demonstrator to accelerate the maturation of superconducting technologies for use in the electric propulsion systems of future hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Known as Cryoprop, the new demonstrator will integrate and mature a two-megawatt superconducting electric propulsion system cooled by liquid hydrogen through a helium recirculation circuit, developed by Airbus teams in Toulouse, France, and Ottobrunn, Germany.

“Our previous demonstrators have shown that superconducting technologies would be a key enabler for the high-power electrification of future hydrogen-powered aircraft. I truly believe that the new demonstrator will lead to performance improvements of the propulsion system, translating into significant weight and fuel saving potential,” said Michael Augello, CEO of Airbus UpNext.

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Airbus has been developing superconducting technologies for high-power electric propulsion for several years, culminating in the activation of a 500 kW integrated cryogenic propulsion system last year.

Cryoprop will confirm the potential of superconducting technologies for future aeronautical applications, evaluating all aspects related to safety, industrialization, maintenance, and operations. This demonstrator will also provide Airbus the opportunity to develop high-level internal expertise and foster a new ecosystem to accelerate the introduction of new products in areas such as superconducting cables, motors, cryogenic power electronics, and cryogenic cooling systems.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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