ILA: Getting ready for Clean Sky 2

Thursday’s ILA programme will bring together top European aerospace technology experts to discuss the objectives of the €4 billion ($5.5 billion) Clean Sky 2 next-generation aircraft research programme, which was given the green light earlier this month by EU member state governments.

The programme will run through 2024 and follows the €1.6 billion Clean Sky Sky Joint Technology Initiative started in 2008. Aiming to demonstrate commercial aircraft technology able to cut fuel burn, CO2 and NOx emissions by 30% or more – and noise by 75% compared to the best aircraft operating in 2014, CS2 looks to fly full-scale demonstrations of several key technologies.

These include a low-drag wing on an Airbus A340 test aircraft (by 2015/2016), an electrical environmental control system on an ATR 72, low-noise helicopter trajectories and the ground test of a counter-rotating open rotor engine.

Other ongoing Clean Sky technology initiatives are studying 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.

The EU will contribute €1.75 billion from its Horizon 2020 research budget, following the €800 million it invested in the original Clean Sky round. Industry participants will put in some €2.2 billion. Partners include AgustaWestland, Airbus Group, Alenia Aermacchi, Dassault Aviation, Germany's DLR aerospace research centre and the Fraunhofer applications research centre, Liebherr, MTU, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Safran and Thales.

Speakers at Thursday’s ILA conference will include R-R research and technology director Ric Parker, who chairs the Clean Sky governing board, European Commission transport research director Manuela Soares, MTU Aero Engines chief operating officer Rainer Martens, Dassault Aviation scientific strategy director Bruno Stoufflet and Airbus senior R&T vice president Axel Krein.

Clean Sky Joint Undertaking executive director Eric Dautriat says that by building on the programme work to-date, the second phase “is well positioned to become a force in shaping innovation for aviation in the decade to come. The entire aeronautics supply chain will benefit: SMEs, research organisations, universities and industry”.

Supporting its claims to driving tangible economic benefits, CS2’s own literature notes that, on average, 12% of European aeronautic sector revenues – or about €7 billion per year for civil aeronautics alone are reinvested in R&D, supporting around a fifth of aerospace jobs.

The European aeronautics sector accounts for approximately 3% of the EU workforce, contributes €220 billion to GDP and sees 60% of its products exported.

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