Europe's aerospace industry heavyweights gathered at ILA yesterday to declare their determination to carry on the work of the Clean Sky technology development initiative, and continue their public-private push towards cleaner and quieter aviation.
Clean Sky 2 will run from 2014 to 2020, backed by €3.6 billion ($4.6 billion) from industry partners and the European Commission. Details of post-2014 research will not begin to emerge for a couple months, says Airbus Clean Sky research and technology co-ordinator Jens Koenig, but will focus on large passenger and regional aircraft and fast rotorcraft with development of airframe, engine and systems/equipment integrated technology demonstrators.
Partners include AgustaWestland, Airbus, Alenia Aermacchi, EADS Casa, Eurocopter, Dassault Aviation, Germany's DLR aerospace research centre, applications research centre Fraunhofer, Liebherr, MTU, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Safran and Thales.
Airbus engineering vice-president and Clean Sky chairman Charles Champion called the initiative a bid for "more environmentally friendly aviation and a more competitive Europe".
The ongoing Clean Sky joint technology initiative was born in 2008 with a budget of €1.6 billion, contributed to on a 50/50 basis by the European Commission and industry partners.
The programme is built around a series of technology demonstrators which look at fixed-wing and low-noise configurations, smart structures, low-drag concepts, engines and energy management systems, rotorcraft blade innovations, cooling and fluid systems, and industrial chemicals handling and recycling. Green operations and ground handling also figure.
Clean Sky objectives align with the "Flightpath 2050" vision of cleaner aviation held by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE).
ACARE wants to see a reduction of 75% in CO2, 90% in NOx and 65% in noise by 2050 relative to year 2000 levels; 90% of travellers within Europe able to complete their journey door-to-door within four hours; and an air traffic management system able to cope with 25 million flights a year while suffering less than one accident per 10 million flights.