By Mike Martin in Farnborough
The pressing issue of aviation and the environment is to be tackled by seven major players in European aerospace, it was agreed yesterday at Farnborough.
Senior executives signed an agreement – called Clean Sky – which will lead the way to defining elements of what could be a €1.7 billion ( $2.1 billion) programme over seven years.
Clean Sky is aimed at radically improving the impact of air transport on the environment.
The seven signatories are Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Dassault Aviation, Eurocopter, Thales, Safran and Liebherr Aerospace.
The programme aims to deliver major reduction of emissions, noise and fuel consumption for the next generation of aircraft, associated components and operations.
Its purpose is to demonstrate and validate the technological breakthroughs that are necessary to reach the environmental goals set by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE).
Goals set by ACARE – with a 2020 deadline – include a 50% reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through a drastic reduction of fuel consumption, an 80% reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and a 50% cut in external noise. It also aims for a ‘green’ product life cycle design covering manufacturing, maintenance and disposal.
Funding for the programme will be shared equally by the European Commission and the companies engaged in the programme, both the original signatories and other firms that may join later.
“Today, we want symbolically to show with our partners that we are addressing an issue that is important to the public,” said Alain Garcia, Airbus executive vice-president, Engineering. “We are excited to do something that is expected by the public.
“This is a type of management activity that will be similar to the way that we develop a programme, with a clear timescale and responsibilities.”
He said that the ultimate product would be demonstrators but it was too early to say whether these would be mathematical simulations, testbeds or flying prototypes.