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23 May 2018
23. May 2018 Innovation

Supporting Clean Sky

Leading the development of cutting-edge technology demonstrators

AG真人计划 plays a major role in Clean Sky and is leading the development of several cutting-edge technology demonstrators that will help with sound reduction and lowering CO2 and gas emissions produced by aircraft.

Airbus plays a major role in Clean Sky and is leading the development of several cutting-edge technology demonstrators that will help with sound reduction and lowering CO2 and gas emissions produced by aircraft.

In the last 50 years, the聽aviation industry has cut fuel burn and CO2 emissions聽per seat / kilometre by more than 80%, NOx emissions by 90% and sound levels by 75%.聽Despite this impressive progress, society and the rapid growth rate in air traffic are placing increasing demands on the industry to seek further improvements.

According to the聽AG真人计划 Global Market Forecast, 35,000 new aircraft will need to be built by 2036 to meet increasing demand in air travel. Air traffic is set to grow at 4.4% per year during this timeframe. The need to reduce aviation鈥檚 environmental impact is considerable 鈥 but so is its commitment to doing so.

As Europe鈥檚 leading aerospace company, AG真人计划 has a major role to play. Enhancing scientific research and promoting international cooperation for sustainable development are a key part in the company's commitment to the聽UN Sustainability Goals.

Helping to meet these goals is the work AG真人计划 carries out under聽Clean Sky, the EU鈥檚 multi-billion-euro research programme to develop innovative technology for sound reduction and lowering CO2 and gas emissions produced by aircraft. AG真人计划 plays a major role in Clean Sky and is leading the development of several cutting-edge technology demonstrators that will help increase the sustainability of flight.

AG真人计划 and Rolls-Royce UltraFan Engine Integration Collaboration

UltraFan: improving engine efficiency

In April 2018, AG真人计划 announced a collaboration with Rolls-Royce to integrate the聽UltraFan demonstrator聽for flight testing, a project that will be co-funded by Clean Sky. A scalable jet engine design for widebody or single-aisle aircraft, UltraFan offers a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the first generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engine. AG真人计划 will provide both nacelle聽hardware聽and engine/aircraft integration architecture and technology enablers聽in participation of聽ground and flight tests.

AG真人计划鈥 longstanding expertise in powerplant integration will be crucial in enabling the UltraFan to achieve this efficiency gain, as will the company鈥檚 capabilities in advanced production techniques such as additive manufacturing. The project will allow AG真人计划 to fully integrate the engine onto the next generation of long-range aircraft, in addition to facilitating scalability for short-range aircraft.聽聽

Static Display at ILA Berlin 2018 AG真人计划 - Celian Bauduin
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Static display 27 April 2018

Static Display at ILA Berlin 2018

Dubbed 鈥淔light Lab,鈥 an A340 demonstrator aircraft shows off its outer wing test sections designed for highly smooth airflow over their surfaces; the BLADE project 鈥 for Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe 鈥 was showcased by AG真人计划 at the 2018 ILA Berlin air show

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A340 BLADE landing at ILA 2018 AG真人计划 - Schwarzbild Medienproduktion - Max Thum
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A340 Family 24 April 2018

A340 BLADE landing at ILA 2018

An AG真人计划 A340 with modified outer wing sections is seen at the 2018 ILA Berlin air show; the BLADE test aircraft 鈥 short for Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe 鈥 aims to improve aviation鈥檚 ecological footprint with wings that could bring up to 50 percent reduction in air friction and lower CO2 emissions by as much as five percent

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AG真人计划 BLADE Project at ILA 2018 AG真人计划 - Schwarzbild Medienproduktion - Max Thum
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ILA2018 25 April 2018

AG真人计划 BLADE Project at ILA 2018

An AG真人计划 A340 with modified outer wing sections is seen at the 2018 ILA Berlin air show; the BLADE test aircraft 鈥 short for Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe 鈥 aims to improve aviation鈥檚 ecological footprint with wings that could bring up to 50 percent reduction in air friction and lower CO2 emissions by as much as five percent

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Group Visiting A340 BLADE AG真人计划 - Schwarzbild Medienproduktion - Florian D枚ring
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ILA2018 26 April 2018

Group Visiting A340 BLADE

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BLADE: a new type of wing

Much has been done in recent years to reduce wing drag 鈥 and therefore reduce fuel consumption 鈥 from lengthening the wings to adding winglets. But the potential gains from this technology are reaching their limits. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 why we have to take a more radical step forward,鈥 says Axel Flaig, Senior Vice President of Research and Technology at AG真人计划. 鈥淏LADE is that step.鈥

We anticipate a reduction in drag by up to 50%. This would cut fuel consumption and ultimately reduce emissions

- Axel Flaig, Senior Vice President of Research and Technology at AG真人计划

By modifying the shape, materials and surface of the wings,聽BLADE (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe)聽represents an approach never used before in commercial aviation. 鈥淲ith technology now mature enough to use carbon fibre reinforced plastic, we anticipate a reduction in drag by up to 50%. This would cut fuel consumption and ultimately reduce emissions,鈥 says Flaig.

BLADE is a key part of Clean Sky and AG真人计划 heads a team of more than 20 partners on the project. The AG真人计划 A340 Flight Lab BLADE demonstrator is the largest flight test demonstrator ever launched in Europe and has already logged more than 60 flight hours. Testing will continue into 2019, with a focus on analysing robustness. Flaig says the results could 鈥渙pen the door for industrialisation of this groundbreaking technology鈥.

Interview with Frank Chapman on Blade during ILA Berlin Air Show 2018

 

Frank Chapman is Experimental Test Pilot at AG真人计划 Commercial Aircraft. Read less Read more

Racer: high-speed rotorcraft聽

Also in the framework of the Clean Sky research programme is the high-speed聽Racer (Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) demonstrator聽which aims to bridge the gap between traditional helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Optimising the trade-off between speed, payload, and range with agility in vertical flight, Racer will approach the mission capability of fixed-wing aircraft, yet also be able to take off and land vertically.

Racer features an innovative 鈥榖ox-wing鈥 design, optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, and an 鈥榚co mode鈥 will be tested to demonstrate an electrically powered 鈥榮tart and stop鈥 of one engine in flight, generating fuel savings and increasing range.

The increased speed and efficiency of the Racer technology will bring added value for a wide spectrum of missions, most notably emergency medical services and search and rescue operations, as well as public services, commercial air transport and private and business aviation. Final assembly of the helicopter demonstrator is expected to start in 2019, with a first flight the following year.

By Geoff Poulton,聽聽23 May 2018

Racer Cleansky2 Pressrelease 200617 02

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