This week, the GE Gas Power team launched season five of Cutting Carbon, their award-winning podcast that focuses on climate change, the basics of what decarbonization is and the technologies behind it. In season five, the team is focused on decarbonization closer to home and invited Arjan Hegeman, GE Aviation’s general manger for advanced technologies, to talk about the future of flight.
Learn more about the role of GE Aviation’s technologies available today and in development for tomorrow to make aircraft engines more fuel efficient and reduce carbon emissions. Open fan, hybrid electric and hydrogen combustion are all discussed by Hegeman and the hosts. Over two episodes, Hegeman also explains the importance of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), along with the new engine technologies, to help the aviation industry reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Future of Flight is a two-part episode, and can be found as Episode 27 and Episode 28 under Cutting Carbon. You can listen to the podcast here or on your favorite streaming platform!
The aviation industry is at an inflection point for new technology introduction and acceleration of technology development, Hegeman says. GE Aviation is currently developing its next-generation suite of engine technologies, including open fan engine architecture, hybrid-electric propulsion, and advanced thermal management concepts. GE Aviation is also supporting industry initiatives to approve and adopt 100% SAF and is partnering on a new flight demonstration program to test zero-carbon hydrogen fuel combustion.
GE’s ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050, including the Scope 3 emissions from the use of sold products. GE is also committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 in its own facilities and operations, including Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.
With all due respect, I believe that hydrogen will remain just a theoretical replacement fuel for what we burn now. Its superior specific impulse is countered by its very low density. with the final result that a next generation 12,000 mile range jumbo jet would need a second fuselage to store the liquified hydrogen needed to complete the route. Not as carbon free as hydrogen, but with very positive combustion characteristics, methane CH4 would represent a more realistic fuel for future turbofan powered transport flyers. Hybrid electric power units energized by hydrogen fueled fuel cells will be great for regional flyers .
It is really cool stuff there