Wednesday, February 10, 2016

EasyJet unveils plan for 'hybrid' planes using hydrogen fuel cells

  Introducing a breakthrough in science and technology, easyJet announced on Tuesday that they would be converting an entire fleet of aircraft into hybrid airplanes. This new technology is made possible through the use of hydrogen fuel cells. The cells would be stored in the aircraft hold and would allow an aircraft to leave and enter a runway, using zero fuel.


The first point I would like to emphasize, is exactly how EasyJet plans to utilize this innovative technology. The technology works by having the hydrogen fuel cells take in the energy of the airplane as it is landing and use it to charge light weight batteries. These batteries would then make it possible for the plane to taxi, without using any additional fueling. The pilots of the aircraft would also still have the ability to control aircraft speed and direction and breaking during taxiing due to the power electronic systems and power motors in the main wheels of the plane.

It is also important to address how EasyJet’s trial run with hydrogen fuel cells will impact the environment. With a decrease in fuel, there is also a decrease in environmental pollution. This innovative use of hydrogen fuel cells also decreases C02 emissions each year. This new technology would make takeoff smoother, quieter, and environmentally friendly. Easyjet will further limit waste by taking the water wasted from the hydrogen fuel cells, and use it for the toilets on board.

My third point addresses the greatest benefit easyJet will gain in using hydrogen fuel cells, future savings. Fuel prices are consistently changing and increasing. At some point it will be cheaper to purchase hydrogen fuel, than regular fuel. This not only helps the environment, but also any company that invests in hydrogen fuel cells early on, like easyJet plans to do.

While the article did not mention it, it is important to understand how difficult it will be for EasyJet to get customers to ride with their new hydrogen fueled aircrafts. Many people have hesitations with flying, so it will be difficult for EasyJet to attract flyers to test out a trial fuel source. It is also important to note how expensive it will be to test hydrogen fuel cells in an entire fleet of aircrafts and the risk EasyJet stands to have in revenue. Lastly, it is beneficial to note that if this trial fails, it could result in the loss of revenue for EasyJet and potentially a loss in human life if landing is effected negatively.

Works Cited:
 Carrington, Daisy. "EasyJet's Plans for a Hybrid Fleet, Using Hydrogen Fuel Cells -" CNN. Cable News Network, 2 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Tomo News US. "Hydrogen Fuel Cell: EasyJet Aim to Begin Trials of Hybrid Plane in 2016 - TomoNews." YouTube. YouTube, 3 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Easy Jet’s usage of hydrogen fuel cells for their planes sounds really exciting on the surface. It’s a headline that is clearly great for PR, but after reading the above blog post and the article one realizes these fuel cells are only being used for taxiing the plane while it is on the ground. Still, it is a common sense measure that will cut cost and improve brand image.
    I used to live in Europe and have flown easy jet several times. It is a notably cheap airline that I have even heard referred to as “Cheapy-Jet”. I remember flights from Madrid to Rome for as low as 12 euro! The hydrogen fuel cells would save around 4% of gas expenses, savings that are then passed on to the customer. In theory this sounds great, but they did not specify the cost of implementing these fuel cells and the original post pointed out the potential losses of millions in damages if something were to go wrong. Miranda also pointed out anxieties regarding flying, which would definitely increase because hydrogen fuel cells have an increased potential to explode. Easy Jet has a great technological advantage at their disposal, but they need to convince customers of its safety and environmental benefits.
    Being the first to implement these fuel cells has many advantages. Environmentalist will prefer to fly in the most eco friendly manner, which is now Easy Jet. Marketing can advertise the company as not only one that is affordable, but one that cares about the environment. If in the future plains are all using hydrogen fuel cells, not just for taxing but the entire flight, Easy Jet will already be ahead.
    These fuel cells are certainly a galvanizing advancement in the airline industry. It will be interesting to see in the next few years how successful Eazy Jet is and if other airlines decide to copy this strategy. Very interesting blog post on a captivating topic.


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