Airbus, a well-known global aircraft manufacturer, revealed the future of aviation in 2050 and beyond in a new installment of its series, the Future by Airbus.
The new installment focuses on ways to cut emissions in the future when air travel use is expected to increase. It also looks at how to cut passenger journey times. According to Airbus research, flights in the U.S. and Europe could be around 13 minutes shorter on average. With about 30 million flights annually, finding a way to cut trip times would save 9 million tons of excess fuel, save 5 million hours of excess flight time and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 28 million tons.
Design concept for a future Airbus jumbo jet [Image Source: Airbus S.A.S]
So how does Airbus plan to meet these goals in 2050 and beyond? Through five main ways, including new take-off methods, new flight formations, new free glide approaches/landing approaches, different efficient ground operations and the use of sustainable biofuels and other alternative energy sources.
Within those categories are some long-term flight benefits and ideas, such as assisted take-offs and renewably powered acceleration for steeper climbs from airports (reaches efficient cruise altitudes faster); shorter runways; using smart technology to select the most efficient routes; using high frequency routes to fly in formation like birds in order to increase efficiency; use free glide approaches into air ports to eliminate airbreaking or engine thrust; reduced landing speed, and switching engines off sooner upon landing to for shorter landing distances.
5 Keys to Airbus’ “Smart Skies” innitiative
“Our engineers are continuously encouraged to think widely and come up with disruptive’ ideas which will assist our industry in meeting the 2050 targets we have signed up to,” said Charles Champion, executive vice president of engineering at Airbus. “These and the other tough environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter aircraft design and optimising the environment in which the aircraft operates. That is why our latest Future by Airbus Smarter Skies concepts focus on not just what we fly but, how we may fly in 2050 and beyond.”
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