Airbus Transatlantic Fleet with Greener Tech: Flettner Rotors and E-Methanol for Lower Emissions

Airbus Transatlantic Fleet with Greener Tech: Airbus is set to revolutionize its transatlantic transport of aircraft subassemblies with a cutting-edge fleet renewal. Collaborating with shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA), Airbus will introduce three modern, eco-friendly roll-on/roll-off vessels, utilizing wind-assisted propulsion.

Expected to commence service in 2026, these vessels aim to significantly reduce annual transatlantic CO2 emissions—from 68,000 to 33,000 tonnes by 2030.

This initiative aligns with Airbus’ commitment to slash industrial emissions by up to 63% by the decade’s end, adhering to the 1.5 °C pathway outlined in the Paris Agreement. The renewal process will focus on vessels shuttling aircraft subassemblies between Saint-Nazaire, France, and the Mobile, Alabama, single-aisle aircraft final assembly line.

The innovative vessels will boast six Flettner rotors, large rotating cylinders harnessing wind power to propel the ship forward, alongside dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Routing software will optimize journeys, maximizing wind propulsion and circumventing adverse ocean conditions.

This transition supports Airbus’ ambitious goal of elevating A320 family production rates to 75 aircraft per month by 2026. The enhanced vessels will accommodate around seventy 40-foot containers and six single-aisle aircraft subassembly sets,

surpassing current cargo ships’ capabilities. This strategic move signifies Airbus’ commitment to sustainable and efficient transportation, addressing both environmental and production demands.

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Our Reader’s Queries

What are the new plans for Airbus?

Airbus aims to launch the first-ever commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen in 2035. Our ZEROe initiative is researching different configurations and technologies, while also laying the groundwork for the production and distribution of hydrogen.

What powers the three ocean fleet vessels that the aircraft builder Airbus just launched?

The upcoming ships will use six Flettner rotors, which are big spinning cylinders that harness the wind to create lift and propel the vessel. They will also be equipped with two dual-fuel engines that run on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol.

What is the Airbus?

The largest aeronautics and space company in Europe, Airbus is a commercial aircraft manufacturer with divisions in Space and Defence and Helicopters. It is a global leader in the industry.