5 questions to Prof. Dr. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, Chair of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) Executive Board.

Portraits - Pioneers of the aerospace industry and political decision-makers provide personal insights and their assessment of current industry trends

1    What are your personal expectations for #ILA22 – what are you most looking forward to?

Aerospace stands for the great opportunities that Germany offers as a business and science hub. With its strong international reach, ILA provides us with ideal opportunities for scientific and technical exchange with our partners from politics, business and science, as well as for increasing our international networking efforts.

2    What can your research institution do to accelerate the goal of climate neutrality in the aerospace industry?

Aviation is currently undergoing one of the most intensive transformation processes in its history. This process should and will lead to increasingly climate-friendly air transport. In order to achieve this, there is a considerable need for research and development which requires continuous funding and support. Thanks to the competences and skills of over 25 DLR institution and facilities conducting research in aviation, as well as a unique research infrastructure, the DLR is able to view, analyse and understand the entire air transport system. We thus see ourselves as architects and integrators in aviation research for the civil and military sectors, right through to unmanned aviation systems. With its new aviation strategy, DLR pursues the vision of emission-free aviation.

3    In your view, what is the aerospace industries most important addition to economy and society as a whole?

Aviation is an integral part of our social life and global mobility. It contributes to exchange of culture and, promotes the movement of goods and our prosperity. 

4    If you could meet one famous aerospace personality – from today or from the past: Who would it be and why?

To name one or multiple people is difficult for me. Neither Lilienthal nor Gagarin wanted to be famous. They wanted each in his own way, to open up new horizons for mankind - to rise into the air, to venture into space. In the past and in the present, there has been and continues to be a multitude of scientists and engineers who expand our knowledge day to day.

5    What concrete contribution does your research institution make to sustainability, innovation or new technologies?

Currently, we are facing two major challenges : we need to further improve the current aircraft, increase their efficiency. But we also have to pave the way for new technologies and thus for new products. “Zero Emission Aviation”: in the future, the whole life cycle of an aircraft must be taken into account, from materials to the development, production, operation, MRO and decommissioning. Aircraft and their engines must also be made even more energy-efficient, among other things through new aircraft configurations, new lightweight construction principles and system architectures. Similarly, new energy sources will play an important role. Another promising way to reduce the impact of aviation on the climate is to fly on climate-friendly routes.