Airbus: ‘BLADE’ laminar flow wing demonstrator makes first flight

sustainable aviation

Aiming for a 50% reduction of wing friction and up to five percent lower CO2 emission

September 26, 2017: Airbus’ A340 laminar-flow “BLADE” test demonstrator aircraft (A340-300 MSN001) has made its successful maiden flight for the EU-sponsored Clean Sky “Blade” project. The aircraft, dubbed “Flight Lab”, took off from the Tarbes aerodrome in southern France at local time 11:00, and after a series of successful tests it landed at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse Blagnac. The overall flight time was 3hrs/38mins.

The BLADE project – which stands for “Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe” – is tasked with assessing the feasibility of introducing the technology for commercial aviation. It aims to improve aviation’s ecological footprint, bringing with it a 50% reduction of wing friction and up to five percent lower CO2 emission.

First test aircraft in the world combining a transonic laminar wing profile with a standard aircraft internal primary structure

Airbus’ A340 Flight Lab is the first test aircraft in the world to combine a transonic laminar wing profile with a true internal primary structure. On the outside the aircraft is fitted with two representative transonic laminar outer-wings, while inside the cabin a highly complex specialist flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) station has been installed. The extensive modifications to the A340-300 test-bed aircraft took place during the course of a 16-month working party in Tarbes, with the support of numerous industrial partners across Europe. Today’s first-flight marks the kick-off of the Blade flight-test campaign to explore the wing’s characteristics in flight.

“We began by opening the flight envelope to check that the aircraft was handling correctly,” explains Airbus Flight-Test Engineer, Philippe Seve, who was on board the flight. “We achieved our objective to fly at the design Mach number, at a reasonable altitude and check everything was fine. We also checked that the FTI was working as expected, to identify further fine-tuning for the next flights.”

In the run-up to the start of this flight-testing phase, a small team of 10 specially trained pilots, test engineers and flight test engineers had prepared for this milestone for several months, spending time in a simulator and familiarizing themselves with the FTI systems to be installed on the Airbus flight-test aircraft. Moreover, on equipment installation side, a working party of 70 people performed the FTI installation inside the aircraft, while teams from Bremen, Germany and Broughton, UK worked externally on the outer wings, with a team from Stade Germany, installing a pod containing infrared cameras on the fin.

On the wings, there are hundreds of points to measure the waviness of the surface to help Airbus’ engineers ascertain its influence on the laminarity – which is the first time that Airbus has used such a testing method on an aircraft. Other ‘firsts’ are the use of infrared cameras inside the pod to measure wing temperature and the acoustic generator which measures the influence of acoustics on laminarity. In addition, there is also an innovative reflectometry system, which measures overall deformation in real-time during flight.

A key goal of Blade is to be able to measure the tolerances and imperfections which can be present and still sustain laminarity. To this end, Airbus will simulate every type of imperfection in a controlled manner, so that at the end of the campaign the tolerances for building a laminar wing will be fully known. The flight Lab will perform around 150 flight hours in the coming months.

sustainable aviation

BLADE is organized through Europe’s Clean Sky aeronautical research program. The BLADE project involves 21 European partners with 500 contributors, including GKN Aerospace: designer of the starboard laminar flow wing panel, and Saab: designer of the port wing segment

Source: Airbus

Air BP: Reducing Carbon Emissions in Bergen

IASA Certified Sustainability

Third Scandinavian biojet-supplied location announced

Bergen, Norway, August 21, 2017: The international aviation fuel products and service supplier Air BP is now offering commercial jet biofuel (biojet) to customers at Bergen airport in Norway (BGO/ENBR). The first batch was delivered to the airport on August 16.

This follows Air BP’s successful introduction of biojet at Halmstad airport in Sweden in June 2017 and at Oslo airport in Norway in January 2016. As with Oslo, Air BP has worked with Norwegian airport operator Avinor to make this latest development possible.

Air BP has also supplied airlines on an ad-hoc basis at airports including Stockholm Arlanda (ARN/ESSA), Stockholm Bromma (BMA/ESSB), Karlstad (KSD/ESOK) and Göteborg Landvetter (GOT/ESGG).

Commenting on the announcement, Thorbjorn Larsson, general manager Air BP Nordics, said: “We are excited to help make the supply of biojet commercially available and accessible to our customers in Bergen, our third airport in Scandinavia. The aviation industry has ambitious targets to reduce its carbon emissions and we are proud to be working together with our customers to increase the use of biojet.”

Aslak Sverdrup, Bergen airport director, commented: “With the aviation industry’s ongoing commitment to protecting the environment, we are very pleased to collaborate with Air BP on the introduction of biojet at Bergen. As with Oslo, we hope to inspire other airports to follow suit so we can all work towards the desired lower carbon future.”

Air BP continues to support its customers in the use and adoption of biofuels and in achieving their carbon reduction goals (CO2). Air BP was the first aviation fuel supplier to be independently certified carbon neutral for into-plane fueling operations at 250 Air BP locations in October 2016. Air BP announced an investment of $30 million in biojet producer Fulcrum BioEnergy in November 2016 with the aim of distributing and supplying biojet into aircraft at key hubs across North America to meet growing demand.

Source: Air BP

MTU: Lower CO2 and Noise Emissions are Key Objectives

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Engine manufacturer publishes fifth sustainability report

Munich, July 4, 2017: From fiscal year 2017 on, large companies are required to publish social and environmental performance reports. A new law to that effect had been adopted by the German parliament in spring. Germany’s leading engine manufacturer started to disclose such information long before the law was passed. Since 2011, it has released annual sustainability reports outlining in detail how responsibly and sustainably the MTU Group goes about its business. Now MTU has published its 2016 Sustainability Report, the fifth of its kind. It combines the reports to the UN Global Compact and to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI G.4) standards and is the first to cover the activities of all of the MTU Group’s fully consolidated companies.

Lower fuel burn and CO2 and noise emissions are key objectives addressed by the technology of the geared turbofan, which would not have been possible without key components made by MTU. “So quite a significant contribution made by aviation to overcoming the global challenges, such as climate change and scarcity of natural resources, comes from us,” says MTU CEO Reiner Winkler. Meanwhile, orders have been received for over 8,000 PW1000G-family engines, which power the Airbus A320neo and other aircraft.

Sustainability does not only refer to the end products: At MTU, binding social and environmental standards have been integrated along the entire value chain – and this holds true both for its own production and for its cooperation with suppliers. The company has committed itself to promoting human rights, supporting fair working conditions, protecting the environment and fighting against corruption, and it engages in a whole variety of socially responsible activities. It moreover affords its employees opportunities for individual development, its work-life balance offerings allowing them to grow professionally while pursuing family or personal goals.

MTU’s non-financial indicators are assessed and awarded top ratings at regular intervals by rating agencies and independent experts. oekom research, one of the world’s leading rating agencies in the field of sustainable investment, has awarded MTU Prime Status (C+) overall. Since 2014, the company has been listed in the STOXX ESG Leaders family of sustainability indices as a leading company in the environment, social and governance categories.

MTU provides details of its sustainable package of actions on about 100 pages and moreover gives insights into emerging trends of the future, as, for instance, electric flight.
The 2016 Sustainability Report is available for download from MTU Aero Engines’ website: http://www.mtu.de/company/corporate-responsibility/sustainability-reports/

MTU also involves its stakeholders and the general public in its sustainable management and corporate social responsibility efforts and has posted a survey on its website: http://survey.mtu.de/corporate-responsibility/.

Source: MTU

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