"The future air transport system will be confronted with new challenges: it must be safer, greener and more effective than the current system. There will be more global industrial competition and fossil fuel reserves will diminish leading to increased fuel prices. New radical ideas, methods and technologies are needed to respond to these challenges and to keep Europe world leader in aviation. One of the ideas that came from the Out of the Box project was to launch and recover aircraft by using ground-based power. Several ideas were proposed like using microwave power technology, hoisting aircraft in the air, aircraft carriers type of aircraft launch and recovery etc.
The GABRIEL proposal is based on a system using magnetic levitation technology to enable aircraft take-off and landing. This unique solution will reduce aircraft fuel consumption since aircraft weight can be reduced as no undercarriage will be needed, less fuel needs to be carried onboard and engines can be smaller as less thrust is needed. Using ground power will also reduce CO2 and NOx emissions at airports whilst noise levels can be substantially reduced since only airframe noise will be produced during take-off. Airport capacity can be increased by introducing multiple launch and recovery ramps thus alleviating the problem of limited runway capacity in Europe.
Gabriel will investigate if such a system is feasible and cost effective.
Magnetic levitation is already a developed and deployed technology in rail transportation. However, research is needed to prove the technical feasibility of the concept in air transportation. GABRIEL will investigate how to adapt the existing magnetic levitation technology and to redesign the aircraft and more particularly its fuselage. The project will also study the feasibility of launch and recovery in connection to operating limits and aircraft flight controls. Operational and safety issues will be studied extensively. A small scale test will be designed to validate, assess the feasibility and estimate the limits of the assisted take-off and landing concept. The issue of emergency landings will be addressed.
The project will also perform an extensive cost benefit analysis, covering the effects on fuel savings, environmental benefits, new airport infrastructures and the required power supply.
The GABRIEL is a typical “out of the box” project that involves 12 partners from 7 European countries. The project will last for 36 months."
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/mechanical engineering/vehicle engineering/aerospace engineering/aircraft
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
2632 DS Nootdorp