EU and industry unveil Clean Sky technology initiative

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One of the European Union’s largest research efforts, the joint Clean Sky programme, has been formally initiated and will involve aeronautics industry representatives teaming to develop more environmentally-compatible air transport technology.

With a budget of €1.6 billion ($2.3 billion), to be funded equally between the European Commission and industry from 2008-14, Clean Sky was officially launched in Brussels yesterday.

It aims to speed up technological breakthrough developments and shorten the time to market for new ‘green’ solutions.

The purpose of Clean Sky is to demonstrate and validate the technology allowing the European industry to meet, by 2020, the environmental goals sets by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE), the European technology platform for aeronautics and air transport:

  • 50% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through drastic reduction of fuel consumption
  • 80% reduction of nitrous oxides emissions
  • 50% reduction of external noise
  • Green product life cycle: design, manufacturing, maintenance and disposal or recycling


Clean Sky aims to develop advanced technologies for the next generation of aircraft entering service after 2015. It will select technologies for development from 2008-10 and mature them over the following two to three years before full scale demonstrators are established in 2013-14.

Clean Sky will be built on six key research areas from which technologies will be selected, developed and integrated:

SMART fixed-wing aircraft will deliver active wing technologies and new aircraft configurations

Green regional aircraft will deliver low-weight aircraft using smart structures, as well as low external noise configurations and the integration of technology developed in other research areas, such as engines, energy management and new system architectures

Green rotorcraft will deliver innovative rotor blades and engine installation for noise reduction, lower airframe drag, integration of diesel engine technology and advanced electrical systems for elimination of noxious hydraulic fluids and fuel-consumption reduction

Sustainable and green engines will design and build five engine demonstrators to integrate technologies for low noise and lightweight low-pressure systems, high efficiency, low nitrous oxide and low-weight cores, and novel configurations such as open rotors and intercoolers

Systems for green operations will focus on all-electrical aircraft equipment and systems architectures, thermal management, capabilities for environmentally-considerate trajectories, and improved ground operations to give aircraft the capability to exploit the benefits of the Single European Sky concept

Eco-design will focus on green design and production: withdrawal and recycling of aircraft by optimal use of raw materials and energies, improving the environmental impact of the whole product life-cycle and accelerating compliance with the new European REACH directive on chemicals and their safe use

Source: flightglobal.com's premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news