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The Airbus Concept Cabin points to the future of air travel

Airbus engineers have outlined their vision of what passengers could expect from air travel circa 2050 - and it sounds like a lot more fun than today's cattle class experience. The Airbus Concept Cabin focuses on high levels of customization tailored to suit individual needs including auto-morphing seats and personalized entertainment. Passengers' body heat would also be harvested via the use of smart materials that integrate the electrical system and do away with the need for conventional wires.  Read More

The electric powered eGenius concept demonstrator on its successful maiden flight

An electric powered aircraft demonstrator has taken to the air for the first time with a 20-minute flight from Mindelheim, Germany. Intended for entry in the NASA funded CAFE 2011 Green Flight Challenge, the eGenius concept's single tail-mounted propeller is driven by an electric motor producing a maximum of 60 kW at 2,000 rpm and can travel at cruising speeds of up to 235 km/h (146 mph) with a range of up to 400 km (248.5 miles).  Read More

A Lufthansa Airbus A321 will be running partially on biofuel, as part of the six-month bur...

Starting next April, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 aircraft making the daily flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt will be running partially on biofuel. The airline will trial the biofuel blend, made of a 50/50 mixture of kerosene and hydrotreated vegetable oil, in one of the plane’s engines for six months. It’s part of the Lufthansa-led burnFAIR project, which is studying the long term effects of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Although the Brazilian airline TAM performed a test flight of a biofuel-powered Airbus A320 last month, Lufthansa claims to be the first airline to conduct a long-term trial using biofuel during flight operations.  Read More

TAM Airlines, working together with Airbus, has successfully conducted the first Jatropha-...

With the aviation industry recently announcing self-imposed CO2 reduction targets, the search is on for more environmentally friendly fuels for use in passenger aircraft. A number of aircraft manufacturers and airlines have been looking at alternative fuels, such as GTL and biofuel and now Brazil’s largest airline, TAM Airlines, working together with Airbus, has successfully conducted the first Jatropha-based biofuel flight in Latin America. Airbus claims the biofuel could help reduce the aviation sector’s overall carbon footprint by up to 80 percent.  Read More

Airbus Military's A400M in the skies above Seville, Spain on its maiden flight

Airbus Military's all-new A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft has taken to the air for the first time. The aircraft’s first test flight in the skies above Seville, Spain, comes after many delays – it was originally scheduled for Q1 2008 – but was successfully completed when the plane landed safely at 14.02, December 11, after a flight lasting three hours and forty-seven minutes. The A400M will increase the airlift capacity and range of the aircraft it was designed to replace - the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160.  Read More

The shape of armed conflict is rapidly changing

The military potential of robotics has long been one of the primary driving forces in the funding of research and development in the field. Aerial UAVs transformed armed conflict so dramatically that a new wave of robotic military capabilities are being readied for the battlefield in the hope of providing a similar competitive edge. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently began showing a battery-powered robotic beast of burden which can carry up to 200 kilograms, run three days without a recharge, and follow and respond to the voice commands of its master. Though designed for use on the battlefield, REX has myriad commercial applications in agriculture, manufacturing, and beyond.  Read More

Mario Martinez Celis' aircraft seating design

Another stand-out entry in the Create the Future Design Contest is the aircraft seat-bed design entered in the transportation section by Mario Martinez Celis from Mexico City. The concept design allows for 594 seats on the Airbus A380 which normally seats 555 but the real beauty of the configuration is that ALL passengers would be given the comfort of seat-beds with more space than ever before.  Read More

A 787-9 Dreamliner depicted in Etihad Airways' livery
 Photo: Boeing

Soaring oil prices might be putting the squeeze on margins for airlines around the world, but that hasn't deterred United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad from splurging more than $20 billion on orders for Boeing and Airbus aircraft.  Read More

Airbus commits to biofuel

Virgin Atlantic and Boeing launched the world's first commercial airline flight on biofuel earlier this year, then Continental Airlines joined the push towards alternative fuels and now Airbus has announced that it will partner with Honeywell, IAE and JetBlue in order to develop a sustainable second-generation biofuel for use in commercial aircraft.  Read More

Alternative aircraft fuel test flight
 Photo: Airbus S.A.S. 2008

February 5, 2008 The Airbus A380 has become the first commercial aircraft to complete a flight using liquid fuel processed from gas. GTL involves converting natural gas, which emits the least carbon of all the fossil fuels, to a liquid fuel oil, which can be used as a fuel substitute, or mixed with regular fuel. The three-hour flight from the UK to France was the first stage of a test flight program to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels in the airline market.  Read More

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