Embraer releases Energia sustainable aircraft concepts


Embraer has revealed two new aircraft concepts as part of its Energia initiative which aims to get the aviation industry to net-zero by 2050.

A year on from Sustainability in Action, which detailed four new aircraft concepts powered by renewable energies, Embraer has been working on two 19-30 seater designs for hybrid electric and hydrogen-electric propulsion.

Arjan Meijer, president and CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation, said: “I believe we have set bold but realistic goals for these concepts to come to market. 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 accelerate to the next phases.”

Energia Hybrid, first revealed as a nine-seater in 2021, may also be produced in 19 and 30 seats variants (E19-HE and E30-HE). The aircraft would use parallel hybrid-electric propulsion through rear-mounted engines, which could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% when using SAF. Th technology could e ready by the early 2030s, says the Brazilian OEM.

Energia H2 Fuel Cell, was also revealed in 2021, as a 19 seater, Embraer is exploring a 30 seater variant. It would use rear-mounted electric engines and hydrogen-electric propulsion to produce zero CO2 emissions. The firm said this aircraft would not be technologically viable until 2035.

While still at the evaluation phase, the architectures and technologies are being assessed for technical and commercial viability. As noted by Meijer, the Energia Advisory Group has been launched to make the most of collaboration from partner airlines.

Luis Carlos Affonso, senior vice president, Engineering, Technology and Corporate Strategy, Embraer, added: “As new propulsion technologies will be first applied on smaller aircraft, Embraer is in a unique position. 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.”