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Reducing energy consumption and environmental impact of aviation


Actions will address aircraft technologies that have high potential towards improving resource efficiency, including those related to small aircraft. For this purpose the actions should address one or several of the following areas:

―Development of novel technologies contributing to more electric aircraft, including new power electronic devices, low energy systems, advanced power generators and actuation systems as well as innovative power and power management concepts.

―Advancements in core engine technologies to develop new innovative concepts towards improving thermal efficiency by increasing the Operational Pressure Ratio.

―Development and demonstration of integrated aero-structures with self-sensing, morphing or multi-functional capabilities towards reduced weight and better aerodynamic performance as well as decreased manufacturing and operational cost.

―Development of screening and optimisation tools aiming at quantifying the added value of alternative fuels from the jet fuel as well as development of design tools aiming at assessing the impact of different fuel compositions on engine components and fuel systems.

Proposals should provide quantified assessment of the expected progress in terms of reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. Analysis of regulatory and standardisation issues should be provided and certification/qualification issues addressed.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 9 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The reduction of energy consumption in aviation leads to high social, environmental and economic benefits and will ensure its sustainability. It leads to improved resource efficiency, reduction of CO2 and NOx emissions as well as decrease of the particulate matter. If no actions would be undertaken, the adverse impact of aviation on environment would significantly grow due to the expected increase of air transport traffic by 5% every year. Improvement of the environmental impact of the aircraft can be achieved for instance through better engine efficiency and advanced combustion technologies, improved aerodynamics or reduction of the weight of an aircraft.

As mentioned in the specific challenge, reduction of energy consumption leads to improved resource efficiency, reduction of CO2 and NOx emissions as well as decrease of the particulate matter. Actions will contribute towards greening the aviation through increased energy efficiency of the aircraft and wider use of alternative fuels. They will mature technologies capable of:

―Bringing measurable reduction of environmental impact towards the long-term goals of reducing CO2 by 75% and NOx by 90% (per passenger and per kilometre) by 2050 (baseline year 2000).

―Facilitating the introduction of alternative fuels in aviation towards the long-term goal of 40% biofuels share in aviation fuels by 2050.