Airbus has released its latest report on its vision for a sustainable aviation industry by 2050. The report, called the ‘Future by Airbus’, not only looks at how aircraft will be more energy efficient, but also how they may change their operations on the ground.
Charles Champion, the Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus, said, “our engineers are continuously encouraged to think widely and come up with ‘disruptive’ ideas which will assist our industry in meeting the 2050 targets we have signed up to.”
“These and the other tough environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter aircraft design and optimising the environment in which the aircraft operates. That is why our latest Future by Airbus Smarter Skies concepts focus on not just what we fly but, how we may fly in 2050 and beyond.”
Airbus have already surmised that the optimisation of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) technology used on Airbus planes would enable the flight times in Europe and the US to be reduced by an average of 13 minutes.
By taking 30 million as the average number of flights in Europe and the US, then reducing those flights by 13 minutes would equate to a saving of 5 million hours of flight time, 9 million tonnes of fuel each year, which is more than 28 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Airbus listed five concepts in its report which could be implemented across all sectors of the aviation industry in order to reduce all forms of waste (fuel, time, CO2, etc).
1. Aircraft take-off in continuous ‘eco-climb’.
2. Aircraft in free flight and formation along ‘express skyways’.
3. Low-noise, free-glide approaches and landings.
4. Low emission ground operations.
5. Powering future aircraft and infrastructure with sustainable biofuels.
With continued improvements to aircraft design, alternative energy sources, and new methods for more efficient flying, Airbus predict that the aviation industry will become more and more sustainable as the years pass.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com