The European Commission (EC) on July 9 officially launched the Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative, a €4 billion ($5.44 billion) follow-on to the ongoing Clean Sky research program. It includes a number of projects for business aircraft–both turboprops and jets–as well as regional turboprops and rotorcraft.
Aviation and the environment
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (low-impact, fast and efficient rotorcraft) as part of Europe’s recently launched Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative. The LifeRCraft architecture combines a main rotor for vertical takeoff and landing, fixed wings for energy-efficient lift and open propellers for speed. The company will use experience gained on its X3 compound demonstrator between 2010 and 2013.
The diesel engine research and development project that Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) is conducting with racing car engine specialist Teos Powertrain Engineering and engine manufacturer Austro Engine, under Europe’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, has cleared significant milestones. The demonstration engine is now being tested on an iron bird, before the first flight planned for this year on a modified EC120.
NBAA is welcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) committee proposals to limit aircraft emissions and reduce noise levels in the near term. The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) at ICAO wrapped up three years of work last Thursday with recommendations for creating both a metric and standards for carbon-dioxide emissions, as well as for reducing aircraft noise levels by 2020.
Fourteen European aerospace companies, including Eurocopter and Dassault, have signed a letter supporting the proposed “Clean Sky 2” Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). The seven-year, €3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) program is a follow-on to the current Clean Sky JTI funded by the EU and the industry.
Airbus and China’s Tsinghua University have agreed to jointly investigate biofuel feedstocks in the country in an initiative designed to identify the best options for sustainable commercialization of alternative fuel supply for aviation. By early next year, Airbus hopes to have narrowed down the list of possible feedstocks, which will include cooking oil and algae, to the most promising alternative fuel solutions. With that decision taken, the partners intend to investigate ways to accelerate production.
Boeing and China’s Comac opened a new joint-venture facility in Beijing last week to study biofuels refinement and improvements to air traffic management. Its first project is to study the prospects for refining used cooking oil, often described in China as “gutter oil,” into sustainable aviation biofuel.
“All of aviation, including general and business aviation, as well as the airlines, is working together really well to continually improve the environment,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen declared last month during opening comments on a panel discussion about the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. But he quickly added, “We are also working together to fight wrong-headed environmental regulations that don’t work.”
The airline industry, major manufacturers and some two dozen nations have argued that aviation emissions should be addressed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), not by the European Union and its
Today at the Air Transport Action Group Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three aircraft manufacturers will seek “collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources. Their goal is to have biofuel meet 4 percent of aviation’s fuel needs by 2020.
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