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Airbus to develop new wing technologies for reducing CO2 emissions

Airbus is leading the Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft "Integrated Technology Demonstrator" within the major European Clean Sky Research and Technology project which was officially launched on 5th February. All the technologies developed within the project aim to provide a major contribution towards meeting the ACARE 2020 goals. Clean Sky is one of the largest ever European funded R&T programmes with a total budget of 1,6 billion euros over seven years. Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft will be co-lead by Saab.

Clean Sky will also link the technologies being developed under another European programme, the Single European Sky (SESAR) project that aims to reduce CO2 emissions through a new Air Traffic Control system and new aircraft navigation technologies.

There are two major technology areas that will be developed for the Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft which will contribute to achieving an overall 10 to 20 per cent CO2 emissions reduction.

New wing to offer drag reduction through laminarity The first area is to develop and produce a brand new laminar "Smart Wing", which features substantial drag reduction by applying passive and active flow and loads control technologies. One objective is to achieve a high degree of natural laminarity, in particular during cruise.

The second key area of the research is focusing on the integration of the new wing with the most fuel-saving and innovative engine concepts also under development in the Clean Sky project. Making use of the potential benefits of these new engines, such as the Counter Rotating Open Rotor (CROR), requires a fundamental rethinking of the aircraft architecture. In addition to carrying out detailed studies to capture the aerodynamic effects and the consequences on the aircraft's structure and systems, Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft also plans for a large-scale flight demonstration with such an engine.

Press release issued by Airbus S.A.S. on March 14, 2008


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