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Image: Airbus / SAS

SAS, Airbus to study hybrid and electric planes

The manufacturer Airbus has set up a new collaboration with SAS on the development of future sustainable aircraft.

SAS and Airbus say they have signed a joint memorandum of understanding for “hybrid and electric aircraft eco-system and infrastructure requirements research”.

The aim of the collaboration is to establish the requirements for the next generation of sustainable aircraft, the partners say, and also to gain an understanding of introducing hybrid-electric planes for large-scale commercial use within the next ten to 15 years. The project will start in June and run until the end of 2020.

SAS claims that “for decades” it has worked “to reduce emissions and worked hard and focussed towards a more sustainable flying”.

25% by 2030
The airline says its goal now is to cut emissions by 25% by 2030, mainly by modernising its fleet and increasing the use of biofuels.

“We see electric aircraft as the next step beyond the current technology,” the carrier says.

The collaboration also includes a plan to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero emissions operations, SAS says.

“[We are] leveraging our respective expertise to explore the potential of hybrid-electric propulsion opportunities in our aviation eco-system,” said Grazia Vittadini, Airbus chief technology officer.

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