Civil aviation: A revolution in aircraft design for sustainable flight
The aerospace industry stands for innovation like no other sector. German aerospace firms invest 11 percent of total revenue in research and development (R&D) – a higher share by percent than any other sector. Most of this R&D aims to revolutionize production methods and reduce emissions. ILA Berlin offers a window into the possibilities for sustainable aviation in the future.
- Learn more about sustainable aviation solutions.
- Discuss the most recent research findings.
- Go international at the country pavilions.
- Meet leading politicians with the ILA delegate program.
ILA 2018 – A forum for sustainable flight
The aviation industry strives to cut net CO2 emissions in half by 2050 (starting from base emission levels in 2005). By then, noise levels of all new aircraft are expected to drop by 65 percent as well.
These ambitious goals will only be feasible through constructive dialogue between aircraft manufacturers and airlines, large companies and start-ups, policymakers and aviation authorities, and climate and noise pollution researchers. ILA Berlin is the place to be for all of these groups. That’s why sustainable aviation will be a major focus of the fair in 2018.
Progress in leaps and bounds
Thanks to advances in digitization, innovation in the aviation industry is progressing at an unprecedented rate. Some of the leading new developments in technology include:
Until now, developing energy efficient aircraft has been both extremely costly and time-consuming. Now, with Industry 4.0, the aviation industry aims to dramatically reduce production times and costs: Designs for future aircraft models can be developed virtually, thus allowing concepts to be optimized at an early stage in the process. Industry 4.0 will also allow many aspects of aircraft manufacturing to be automated. Aircraft maintenance will be completely re-thought with the help of big data, with tools that collect aircraft data from hundreds of sensors positioned on the aircraft. At ILA Berlin, visitors can see these state-of-the-art solutions and visionary technologies first-hand.
Additive manufacturing – otherwise known as 3D printing – is developing into a market worth billions. Germany is considered a hotbed of innovation in the field; currently, hundreds of millions of Euros are being invested in 3D technology and entire campuses devoted to the technology are now under construction. The technology offers huge potential, especially for aircraft construction. For example, 3D-printed parts can be 30 to 55 percent lighter than their traditionally produced counterparts. For an Airbus A350 XWB, this reduction could reduce aircraft weight by up to 1,000 kilos. And: For every kilogram saved, it is possible to save considerable amounts of kerosene over the aircraft’s lifespan – and thereby reduce CO2 emissions as well.
Intelligent assistance solutions are becoming more common in commercial aircraft cockpits. In the future, new technologies will further reduce the pilot workload and increase security as well. And there’s more: Engineers around the world are hard at work on new technical concepts and business models for so-called autonomous air taxis that could, for example, ferry air passengers around urban areas. At ILA, visitors can see what is already possible today and learn more about current technical and regulatory hurdles that must be overcome.
Short-haul flights currently require thrust of about 14,000 horsepower in order to takeoff. Electrical energy sources are not relevant today. Not yet anyway: within the next fifteen years, aircraft manufacturers and engineering companies want to create hybrid-electric commercial aircraft capable of carrying up to 100 passengers. These concepts will be featured at ILA. Designers are now hard at work reimagining aircraft specifications and designs – after all, the next revolution in aircraft design is just around the corner.
In addition to e-mobility, new classes of fuel offer an additional way for the aviation sector to drastically reduce its environmental impact. Research and industry are pursuing a wide variety of methods – be it biofuel produced from algae, solar power or renewable energy sources – as part of their efforts to harness alternatives to traditional kerosene. ILA will become a stage for the best new technologies as they compete for primacy.
Silent engine technology
Innovative engine technologies make a considerable contribution to decreasing aircraft noise. The latest generation of engines can decrease the so-called noise footprint at takeoff by about 75 percent – at ILA, visitors can see aircraft equipped with this technology first-hand. In addition, several ILA trade events will focus on the most recent findings on noise research and reduction.
Artist’s rendering: Hybrid propulsion system in a commercial aircraft
Reduced CO2 emissions, quieter aircraft: Aviation goes green
75 percent less CO2, 90% less nitrogen oxide and 65% less noise by 2050: The goals of the European aviation forum ACARE can be achieved through new technologies and fuels. More information is available at www.acare4europe.org