Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, Norwegian regional airline Widerøe and aerospace engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce are partnering on a conceptual study for zero-emission regional aircraft.

The premise of the study is advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of regional aviation and the three companies will share their combined knowledge of aircraft design, market demand, operations and propulsion solutions to further develop their understanding of zero-emission technologies and how they can be matured and applied to future regional aircraft.

The year-long project will address passenger requirements to stay connected, and to do so sustainably, while accelerating knowledge of the technologies necessary for this transition.

The project will investigate the viability of supporting passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

Among other topics, the study will cover applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions, including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen-fuelled gas turbine-powered aircraft.

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation says, “Technological innovations can potentially enable clean and renewable energy to power a new era of regional aviation. The aim of our collaboration is to create new flight solutions that serve expanded market segments in a sustainable manner. I strongly believe this could lead to fully sustainable connectivity, including very short haul intercity operations.”