Greening of air transport

Greening of air transport

February 15, 2015
in Category: Environment
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Greening of air transport

The volume of flight traffic around the world is expected to significantly increase, leading to safety and environmental concerns.  An EU initiative is designing enabling flight-control technologies for safer and greener travel.

Direct emissions from aviation account for about 3 % of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions. The aviation sector has not succeeded in offsetting the increase in global traffic, despite constant technological progress and high research and development investments.

To deal with aircraft-related emissions and environmental uneasiness, the EU-funded 'Adaptive flight control for advanced aircraft concepts' (ADFLICO) project is looking at adaptive flight control as an enabling technology for cutting-edge aircraft concepts, mainly fault-tolerant and environmentally friendly aircraft.

The fault-tolerant flight system can detect and adjust to modifications in aircraft behaviour. The next generation's 'green' aircraft needs unique approaches to become energy efficient and environmentally sound with respect to fuel consumption, emissions and noise. Project work has been centred on several main features of reconfigurable flight systems for these advanced concepts.

Scientists designed an algorithm to predict flight path and estimate flight envelope — an aeroplane's performance limits. They are assessing flight envelope limits that are indicated on flight information instruments to determine their effect in terms of the crew's responsiveness to the energy state of an aeroplane.

Outcomes will enable crews to better identify, process and understand the critical elements of information about what is happening by supplying feedback to the pilot. This will help support safe aircraft procedures in expected and unexpected conditions.

The team believes that flight envelope estimation and flight path prediction will help accelerate the certification process for potential real-life applications.

ADFLICO hopes to one day make travel safer for both crews and passengers while reducing the burden of global air traffic on the environment.

 

Provided by Cordis

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