Marignane, 9 November 2021– An Airbus H225 has performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering one of the Safran Makila 2 engines. The flight, which took place at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, marks the start of a flight campaign aiming to assess the impact of unblended SAF on the helicopter systems in view of certifying the use of SAF blends that exceed today’s 50% limit.
“While all Airbus helicopters are certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene, it is our Company’s ambition to have its helicopters certified to fly with 100% SAF within the decade. Today’s flight is an important first step towards this goal”, said Stefan Thome, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.
The flight campaign, which follows earlier unblended SAF bench tests performed by Safran Helicopter Engines at its Bordes plant, will provide further understanding of the technical challenges associated with the use of 100% SAF. The H225 test helicopter flew with an unblended SAF derived from used cooking oil, provided by TotalEnergies, which offers a net 90% CO2 reduction compared to regular jet fuel.
“SAF is an important pillar of Airbus Helicopters’ decarbonisation strategy because it provides immediate CO2 reduction with no negative impact on the performance of the helicopter,” Thome added. “I thank our partners Safran Helicopter Engines and TotalEnergies for their important collaboration in making today’s flight a reality. Further cooperation among all industry stakeholders is essential to overcome the challenges associated with implementing SAF widely and to make real progress in reducing the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions”.
In order to drive the deployment of biofuels, Airbus Helicopters has launched a SAF User Group dedicated to the rotary-wing community. The company has also started using SAF for training and test flights at its French and German sites.
@AirbusHeli @SafranHCEngines @TotalEnergies #H225 #SAF #Sustainability
Indigo to introduce new technology to detect fatigue for Pilots
IndiGo pilots will soon use a wrist device and a ground device to track their levels of fatigue and measure their focus both before and after flights.
This programme, carried out in collaboration with the renowned French aerospace giant Thales group, intends to collect useful data for refining flight plans and rosters, thereby reducing pilot fatigue.
The programme will utilise de-identified data from all sources, including historical data, real-time data, and predictive analytics. We are still dedicated to protecting the physical and mental health of our pilots, which will eventually improve passenger safety, the airline said in a statement.
This programme will provide information on the demographic data, including facts on routes, pairings, crew profiles, and other factors. The recent death of an IndiGo pilot has brought attention to the problem of pilot fatigue.
In the next months, it will also run a proof-of-concept testing to evaluate pilots’ attentiveness. The airline will assess the accuracy of the recorded data after this process is finished. The ground devices, where pilots will first take a five-minute test, will be housed at IndiGo hubs in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
How does Airbus produce the A350 wings, Where Innovation Meets the Sky
Airbus, one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers, has revolutionized the aviation industry with its state-of-the-art aircraft. Among the many components that contribute to the success of Airbus airplanes, the wings stand out as a marvel of engineering and manufacturing prowess.
These wings, which carry half of the world’s passengers, play a pivotal role in the overall performance, efficiency, and safety of the aircraft. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Airbus wing production, exploring the intricate processes and cutting-edge technologies that enable Airbus to create these remarkable structures.
At Airbus, assembling and equipping wings is a little like a puzzle. Consider the A350. Similar to all other Airbus Commercial Aircraft programmes, the supply chain and several Airbus facilities create the composite coverings, spars, and other parts for the wings. Operators then assemble the wings at Broughton plant in the UK.
Each completed A350 wingset is flown by BelugaXL air transporter to Toulouse operating on a blend of 50% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), where it is joined to the centre wing box and fuselage during final assembly.
Before this production puzzle can be completed, a lot needs to happen. The process starts well upstream, with the Overall Aircraft Design. This determines the wing’s shape and characteristics, including flight controls and high lift systems.
A so-called ‘co-design’ phase then begins. A wing’s structural design is matured in parallel with the industrial system required to produce it.
Longer, leaner, lighter
Higher levels of automation will be used in the future to make wings. The ideal combination of manual and automated assembly will be determined by Airbus experts using a method known as “design for manufacture,” ensuring that the wings are manufactured correctly at the right price the first time, every time.
The wings of the future will be longer, slimmer, and lighter. When combined, these features enable an aeroplane to gain lift while using less fuel, which reduces CO2 emissions.
This modification in wing design necessitates a modification in wing manufacture. To cost-effectively construct such a light wing at volume and speed, Airbus’ industrial infrastructure must be outfitted. The transformation necessitates a radical rethink, and Wing of Tomorrow fills that need.
Its goal is to prepare the workforce, the supply chain, the industrial system, and the company’s physical and digital capabilities in addition to the technologies required for the next generation of aircraft. Together, it will develop the flexibility needed to scale up production quickly while taking into account how it will affect the workers who produce the wings every day.
Embraer launches web series on innovation
Embraer released the first episode of a web series on innovation that shows how the firm works behind the scenes to advance scientific understanding and create revolutionary technologies.
The audiovisual project is part of the company’s 54th anniversary, to be celebrated on August 19th. The episodes will be published weekly on Embraer’s official YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/p0CRLQYoy2M).
The first part focuses on Embraer’s historical place in the global innovation ecosystem and includes quotes from the company’s employees. The technologies that could usher in a new era of environmentally friendly air travel are highlighted in the second episode.
The third episode is devoted to developments in autonomous systems and the widest range of uses for them, including pilot assistance, drones for urban deliveries, aerial spraying, and the creation of electric takeoff and vertical landing (eVTOL) aircraft from EVE. The fourth film in the series demonstrates how Industry 4.0’s manufacturing processes are already evolving as a result of new technology.
Embraer, which has dared to consistently develop and build new products, services, and business models for five decades, has science, technology, and innovation in its DNA. In 2022, the company’s inventions from the previous five years accounted for almost 50% of its revenue.
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