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Airbus and partners target more energy efficient flights

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Demonstration flight kicks off Airbus Summit event in Toulouse.

TOULOUSE  – Airbus, Air France and DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), have begun working towards the development of “most energy efficient flights”, following their inaugural demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac on the day of the Airbus Summit event. The aircraft flew an optimised trajectory, marking the first of a series of trials planned during 2021 and 2022 within the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) “ALBATROSS” project.

Launched in February 2021, ALBATROSS is a large-scale initiative of major European aviation stakeholder groups led by Airbus. It aims to demonstrate, through a series of gate-to-gate live demonstration flights across Europe, the feasibility of implementing most energy efficient flights in the short term, by combining several R&D technical and operational innovations. 

“ALBATROSS” follows an holistic approach by covering all flight phases, directly involving all relevant stakeholder groups (such as airlines,  ANSPs,  network managers, airports and industry) and addressing both operational and technological aspects of aviation and Air Traffic Management (ATM). Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations, from new precision approach procedures to continuous climb and descent, a more dynamic management of necessary airspace constraints, sustainable taxiing and  sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage. 

Thanks to the transmission of four-dimensional trajectory data, ATM will be able to optimise and better predict an aircraft’s trajectory, thereby enabling it to immediately and concretely reduce a flight's environmental footprint.

Starting from September 2021, these live trials will involve around 1,000 demonstration flights, showcasing mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emission savings. First results are expected to be available in 2022.

Airbus to deliver U.S.-completed commercial aircraft with Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Also, Airbus will start delivering all aircraft from its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on board later this year. The initiative is a further step toward fulfilling Airbus’ commitment to carbon-neutral growth in the aviation sector.

Airbus has reached an agreement with Signature Flight Support to supply SAF to its Mobile facility. No later than November 2021, all aircraft delivered to customers will be powered by a blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel. Signature Flight Support is working in partnership with World Energy to provide the U.S.-sourced SAF to Airbus.

“Delivering our Mobile-produced aircraft with SAF is an important, iterative step toward solving the carbon challenge,” said Jeff Knittel, Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc. “SAF is a positive contributor to enhanced sustainability in aviation since it enables up to an 80% reduction of CO2 across the fuel lifecycle.  We are committed to making sustainable fuels an everyday reality with use on an increasingly larger scale, and this announcement is further evidence of that.”

From its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, Airbus delivers both A220 and A320 Family aircraft to U.S.-based customers. Since 2016, the company has delivered more than 260 Airbus aircraft from Mobile - 54 of which have been turned over to airlines in 2021 alone.

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