EasyJet is working on the world’s first hybrid hydrogen plane – and it could save 50,000 tons of fuel each year. The aircraft will use a hydrogen fuel cell to capture energy as it brakes on landing. The energy can then be used by the aircraft to for taxiing without jet engines. Up to 4 percent of EasyJet’s total fuel consumed annually is used for taxiing around four million miles around airports each year.
EasyJet already boasts some pretty impressive environmental credentials – their passengers’ carbon footprint is 22 percent lower than those who travel on a traditional airline. The company took inspiration for a hydrogen plane from students at Cranfield University. Ian Davies, EasyJet’s head of engineering, said that water produced by the plane’s hydrogen system would be so fresh that it could be recycled as drinking water for the airline’s passengers, or used to flush plane toilets.
EasyJet and Cranfield University signed a three-year strategic partnership agreement last year to share innovation and knowledge, and the airline plans to test the technology in planes later this year. Let’s hope they are working on how to use more carbon-saving technologies in the air as well.