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Airbus has its eye on the future of cleaner flight

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 14VED11_02
Published November 12, 2014 by SAE International in United States
  • English

CleanSky 2 targets are to increase aircraft fuel efficiency enough to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-30% and reduce aircraft NOx and noise emissions by 20-30% compared to newly designed aircraft entering into service in 2014-or essentially halve 2005 CO2 emissions levels by 2050.

With its European base and global presence, it would only make sense that Airbus would take a leading role in the EU's CleanSky 2 (CS2), a joint technology initiative (JTI) that is the follow-up to the CleanSky aerospace research program.

Both of the programs were designed to address now the tripling of air traffic that is predicted to occur by 2050, kindly not waiting until 2050 instead. Currently, air traffic contributes about 3% to global greenhouse emissions (heating and electricity is said to produce about 32%), which may not seem like much except that, first, not too long ago it was 2%, and, second, those emissions happen at altitude, and much less is known about the effects of chemical interactions between emissions and the higher, thinner air than how emissions interact with the denser air closer to Earth.