As a part of the company's progress report on Energia, Embraer revealed new aircraft concepts. The initiative to achieve net zero by 2050 has led Embraer to focus on hybrid-electric designs and hydrogen-electric propulsion.
At Embraer's Sustainability in Action event last year, the company discussed four different aircraft concepts, all powered by new technologies and renewable energies. Embraer has over 50 years of technical expertise, external inputs from different airlines and joint studies with engine OEMs. The company has been focusing on two designs for hybrid-electric aircraft and hydrogen-electric propulsion.
According to Embraer, the different approaches to sustainability will bring a level of technical realism and economic feasibility on the journey to the net zero goal.
The Energia Hybrid offers a 19 and 30-seat variant, the E19-HE and E30-HE, after initially being revealed as a nine-seater in 2021. The two new variations will have parallel hybrid-electric propulsion, up to 90% CO2 emissions reduction while using SAF, rear-mounted engines and technology readiness by the 2030s.
Another variant, the Energia H2 Fuel Cell (E19-H2FC and E30-H2FC), was revealed as a 19-seater in 2021. The possible 30-seater variant will have hydrogen-electric propulsion, both 19 and 30-seater variants, read-mounted electric engines, zero CO2 emissions and technology readiness by 2035.
"As new propulsion technologies will be first applied on smaller aircraft, Embraer is in a unique position," said Luis Carlos Affonso, Sr. VP of Engineering, Technology and Corporate Strategy, Embraer. "The 19 and 30 seaters are sensible starting points for focused studies since they are likely to present earlier technical and economical readiness."
"While the challenges of net-zero are significant, in less than 25 years our commercial aircraft have already reduced fuel burn and CO2 emissions by almost 50% on a seat/mile basis, using only conventional fuels and propulsion - I'm convinced net-zero is a goal we can reach," Affonso said.
The proposed variations from Embraer are still in the evaluation phase and the designs and technologies are currently being assessed for viability on the technical and commercial sides. Embraer formed the Energia Advisory Group to handle input and work on a collaboration with partner airlines.
"I believe we have set bold but realistic goals for these concepts to come to market," President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation Arjan Meijer said. "Since we announced our Energia concepts last year, we have been busy evaluating different architectures and propulsion systems. These efforts have resulted in the updates of our concepts that we are sharing with you today. A number of airlines are part of our Energia Advisory Group, the experience and knowledge they bring to the study will be key to accelerating to the next phases."