German Aerospace Center presents strategy for future, emission-free aviation
Clean Energy Wire
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has unveiled a new aviation strategy that sets the path for emission-free flying. The goal is the development of highly efficient aircraft that use climate-friendly drives and sustainable fuels. The energy requirements of future aircraft must be reduced to at least half by 2050. Highly efficient aircraft configurations and an intelligent mix of alternative drive concepts are therefore necessary for the next generation of aircraft.
“The DLR’s vision is emission-free aviation,” said DLR head Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla. “Getting there requires a disruptive approach and new technologies. In our new aviation strategy, we consider the aircraft and air traffic as an overall system.” The DLR is working closely with the aviation industry on the development of new concepts. New technologies to lessen aerodynamic drag and total weight along with innovative flight control and sensors will be needed to reduce the energy requirements of future aircraft by at least half, noted Markus Fischer, the DLR’s senior vice president of aviation. Future small and regional aircraft will be able to take off with battery and hybrid electric technology; short to medium-haul aircraft will use hydrogen, Fischer added. For longer haul routes, sustainable fuels will be used with highly efficient turbines. Climate-optimised flight routes also offer an important savings perspective for all aircraft, he stressed.
The German aviation industry last year presented a joint master plan to bring air transport more in line with climate protection and commit companies in the sector to the goal of CO2-neutral air transport.