With the airline industry's commitment to halve 2005 CO2 emission levels by 2050 prompting Airbus
to accelerate the development of alternative jet fuels, Airbus is now getting behind a project to examine the potential for using hydrogen fuel cells on commercial airliners – not to power the jet engines, but to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs).
In the automotive industry, life is pretty easy for the car-assembling robots ... they just sit in the same place performing the same task, day after day. Things are different in the aerospace industry, however. Airplanes aren’t made on assembly lines, so any robots used in their construction would have to move around them
. The member organizations of the European VALERI Project (Validation of Advanced, Collaborative Robotics for Industrial Applications) are now working on making such mobile, autonomous plane-building robots a reality.
Airbus has announced the launch of the A330-800neo and the A330-900neo, which are the latest variants of the A330 two-engined widebody airliner that entered service in 1994. Airbus says that the A300neo aircraft use the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine and are the most cost-efficient wide-body aircraft on the market with 14 percent better fuel consumption per passenger seat compared to today's A330.
Imagine showing up at the airport to catch your flight, looking at your plane, and noticing that instead of windows, the cockpit is now a smooth cone of aluminum. It may seem like the worst case of quality control in history, but Airbus argues that this could be the airliner of the future. In a new US patent application, the EU aircraft consortium outlines a new cockpit design that replaces the traditional cockpit with one that uses 3D view screens instead of conventional windows.
In 2021, as part of its Clean Space Initiative, ESA plans to launch the e.DeOrbit mission
. The aim of this mission is to clean up the important polar orbits between altitudes of 800 to 1,000 km (500 to 625 mil) that face the prospect of becoming unusable due to the increasing buildup of space debris
. The ESA has now announced plans to examine the potential for the mission to use space harpoons to capture large items, such as derelict satellites and the upper stages of rockets.
Last year, the Airbus A350 XWB
took to the air for the first time. Eleven months later, Rolls-Royce announces that the first production Trent XWB turbofan engine that powers the plane has left the factory and is on its way to Toulouse, France to be installed in a Qatar Airways A350 XWB. According to Rolls-Royce, Qatar airways has ordered 80 of the aircraft and the “world's most efficient aero engine” engine is the first of 1,600 ordered worldwide by 40 airlines around the world.
Manned electric-powered aircraft have made record-breaking flights
and turned more than a few heads
in the past few years, and it's not a trend that's likely to slow down. Last week, the E-Fan electric trainer airplane developed by the Airbus Group made its first public flight before a collection of French dignitaries. Currently a demonstrator for electric aircraft technology, Airbus says that is will be used as the basis for building a new pair of electric training aircraft models.
Aeronautics giant Airbus has completed its project to recreate the surface of Mars in Stevenage, UK. The site, roughly the size of a basketball arena, is designed to test the navigation and locomotion systems of the ESA's ExoMars
rover ahead of its launch in 2018.
There was a surprise appearance at the Paris Air Show
on Friday as the first prototype Airbus A350 XWB airliner did a flypast of the crowds at Le Bourget Airport. The flypast was part of what was the aircraft’s third time in the air and was a last minute bonus appearance due to it performing much better than expected on its previous two test flights
The 50th edition of the Paris Air Show
kicked off with a bang on Monday, but rather than the rumbling of huge jet engines the din came courtesy of thunderstorms and torrential rain. Thankfully the dark skies cleared quickly and despite more bursts of wet weather throughout the week, there has been plenty of blue sky to provide a backdrop for the daily aerial displays. Here's a our look at the highlights from Le Bourget airfield, both on the ground and in the air.