BoomBoom
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Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:49 am

Quote:
EUROPEAN manufacturer Airbus is targeting a 50 per cent reduction in aircraft fuel consumption by 2020.

Airbus vice-president, environmental affairs, Philippe de Saint-Aulaire, said the manufacturer was looking at airframe improvements to provide about 25 per cent of the reduction, while between 10 and 15 per cent would come from engine manufacturers.

"The remainder, about 10 per cent, will come from air traffic control - to ensure there are more direct flights, to ensure that aircraft are not (circling) around the airport before they land," he said.

The Airbus environmental boss expects airframe improvements to come from weight reduction with the greater use of composites, aerodynamic improvements, and new systems that would allow the aircraft to operate more efficiently.

http://theaustralian.news.com.au/sto...9482-23349,00.html?from=public_rss

Is this realistic?

[Edited 2007-03-28 19:51:19]
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:55 am

25% from the airframe alone?

Weight and drag, right? 25% seems huge!
 
hb88
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:55 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
Quote:
"Airbus vice-president, environmental affairs, Philippe de Saint-Aulaire, said the manufacturer was looking at airframe improvements to provide about 25 per cent of the reduction, while between 10 and 15 per cent would come from engine manufacturers.

"The remainder, about 10 per cent, will come from air traffic control - to ensure there are more direct flights, to ensure that aircraft are not (circling) around the airport before they land," he said.

The Airbus environmental boss expects airframe improvements to come from weight reduction with the greater use of composites, aerodynamic improvements, and new systems that would allow the aircraft to operate more efficiently.

http://theaustralian.news.com.au/sto...2-23349,00.html?from=public_rss"

Is this realistic?

Well 2020 is quite a way off...

It may *need* to be possible if the aviation industry keeps getting the public flogging it is getting almost on a daily basis in the European press for carbon emissions...
 
Lumberton
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:10 am

Quoting HB88 (Reply 2):
It may *need* to be possible if the aviation industry keeps getting the public flogging it is getting almost on a daily basis in the European press for carbon emissions...

You beat me to it, HB88. I believe that the impetus to reduce emissions and get on the green bandwagon is going to ramp up in the next 10 years. Could we actually see the day when manufacturers "flog" carbon credits to sell airframes (did I use "flog" right?)!
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futurecaptain
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:19 am

25% out of an airframe seems like alot. How much more aerodynamic can the tube with wings get? How much weight can we safely lose through composites and such to get such benefits?? Winglets can effectively add around 5%, where does the other 20% come from?

10-15% out of the engines seems entirely reasonable. We will probably see such an improvement on the NG narrowbody aircraft.

10% from ATC?? This is the loophole for the company. When Airbus is NOT saving 50% in the next 15 years they can effectively say ATC isnt routing planes properly to save fuel. Here is the escape for the company.
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:21 am

That would have to be some serious airframe improvements to knock 25% off. CFRP alone isn't going to get you near that, so it will require significant improvements in interior fittings (and fancier and heavier premium cabin seating isn't going to help) and other areas...

In a decade? I just don't see it happening unless the penalties for not doing it are so draconian (like a carbon tax equal to the price of the airframe and engines) that they, in and of themselves, would cut air travel in half.
 
flyf15
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:26 am

Quoting HB88 (Reply 2):
Well 2020 is quite a way off...

Not really in aviation terms. Thats only 13 years ago. 13 years ago the 777 was coming out.... and that thing is still at the forefront of modern technology. Heck, we're still flying many hundreds of planes that were built 30+ years ago and are still economically viable. It takes a long long time to make a change on the order of what they're talking about here. My prediction is that 13 years from now, airliners will be very similar (or, more likely, the same exact airframes) that we're seeing out there right now.

A 50% reduction in fuel consumption is going to be HUGE. That is going to take a lot more than modifications of current technology, it is going to take all new technology beyond what we currently have. Entirely different ATC systems with neural network processing, new engines (no more standard turbofans... how about unducted fans?), new airframe designs (no more tube and wings... how about flying wings?), etc. You just can't move people with for half of the fuel you're using today with the current ways of doing things.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:34 am

Quoting HB88 (Reply 2):
It may *need* to be possible if the aviation industry keeps getting the public flogging it is getting almost on a daily basis in the European press for carbon emissions...

Or the EU will just become less relevant as they voluntarily cripple themselves while the rest of the world expands.

Just because the EU press thinks it can somehow make 1.5l planes a reality by flogging airlines unfairly, doesn't mean the world will follow suit...
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PPVRA
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:37 am

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
25% out of an airframe seems like alot. How much more aerodynamic can the tube with wings get? How much weight can we safely lose through composites and such to get such benefits?? Winglets can effectively add around 5%, where does the other 20% come from?

Well, how old is the A340 family by now? 15 years? If so then in 2020 the A340 will be some 30 yrs old. Better knowledge of CFRP and it's new design flexibilities can help a lot too.

And considering the A340 uses quite a bit more fuel than even current models, I don't think it's that far-fetched.

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
10-15% out of the engines seems entirely reasonable. We will probably see such an improvement on the NG narrowbody aircraft.

 checkmark 

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
10% from ATC?? This is the loophole for the company. When Airbus is NOT saving 50% in the next 15 years they can effectively say ATC isnt routing planes properly to save fuel. Here is the escape for the company.

Next Generation ATC is GPS based. I don't know much about it, but it sure could help. Especially if it cuts on-ground engine running times.
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siromega
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:45 am

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
How much more aerodynamic can the tube with wings get?

I think thats the key right there. Goodbye tube with wings.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:07 am

Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with setting a target.

Every year my company sets a zero accident target. The fact we've never yet achieved it, doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do.
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khobar
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting HB88 (Reply 2):
It may *need* to be possible if the aviation industry keeps getting the public flogging it is getting almost on a daily basis in the European press for carbon emissions...

Perhaps if the European press would take a little time to ask why the CO2/global warming "relationship" is reversed they would be flogging someone else rather than the aviation industry.
 
planemaker
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:32 am

Quoting SirOmega (Reply 9):
I think thats the key right there. Goodbye tube with wings.

Not by 2020.
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SkyyMaster
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:40 am

Some of our rocket scientists (literally) had better start coming up with some ideas for alternative fuel sources soon. Oil is a finite resource. It's not a matter of if, but when that supply runs out. Along with the rest of the worlds economy, airlines will cease to exist if alternatives are not found. It will take many years and many dollars to bring this new form of propulsion into fruition. Yes, the need to cut current fuel consumption is critical, but we have to be even more forward thinking than that.
 
aa777sjc
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:42 am

If you aren't delivering anything on time anyway, you might as well set unreachable goals so it's less of a let down when you fail to succeed.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:55 am

50% reduction over what? The 787? Proposed A350? That's 70-80% reduction from a 767.

I certainly hope Airbus has something huge they've been hiding, or they're going to have to shove their foot so far into their mouth it'll come out the other end...
 
planemaker
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:00 am

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 13):
Some of our rocket scientists (literally) had better start coming up with some ideas for alternative fuel sources soon.

Done. It is just a matter of consumer costs. No one is willing to pay $4-5/gallon for gas... yet!

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 13):
Oil is a finite resource. It's not a matter of if, but when that supply runs out.

To be accurate, only conventional oil is a finite resource. There are several non-conventional sources of oil to last at least a couple of centuries.
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Cruiser
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:55 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 15):
50% reduction over what? The 787? Proposed A350? That's 70-80% reduction from a 767.

I would say the A340!!!  Wink

Seriously though, this A350 is going to have to be pretty darn fuel efficient when it EIS's. 2020 is much further out than that, and it will be interesting to watch.

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ER757
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:02 am

Well, it's a very ambitious goal and I wish them all the sucess in the world in meeting or coming close to it. Lord knows we need to move in that direction and need to do so yesterday.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:20 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 15):
50% reduction over what? The 787? Proposed A350? That's 70-80% reduction from a 767.

Maybe it's the 707 they are comparing to. That should be easy to achieve...  Wink
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N328KF
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:48 am

Quoting SirOmega (Reply 9):
I think thats the key right there. Goodbye tube with wings.



Quoting Planemaker (Reply 12):
Not by 2020.

If B or A winds up deploying a BWB for government services roles, then the cargo industry could easily use a derivative. Passenger service may be a different matter, but between the airframe and engine, you'd have most of the 50% right there.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
imiakhtar
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:26 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 1):
25% from the airframe alone?

Weight and drag, right? 25% seems huge!

Well, according to a recent article in the New Scientist, there are many ways of designing and building airframes that would achieve the 25%. 50% does seem to be a bit optimistic though!

http://www.newscientisttech.com/data/images/archive/2592/25921606.jpg

http://www.newscientisttech.com/data/images/archive/2592/25921605.jpg

http://www.newscientisttech.com/data/images/archive/2592/25921604.jpg

http://www.newscientisttech.com/data/images/archive/2592/25921607.jpg
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deltadawg
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:50 am

Maybe Airbus has figured out a way to bend the rules of physics and aerodynamics?

Or, they have a hybrid coming: takes off on fuel, reaches altitude then switches over to electric batteries (lightweight batteries by then of course), and glides in for landings - 50% savings!
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oldoilguy
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:11 am

It reminds me a new engineering manager 25 years ago. To get that promotion, he promised to the upper management that he could reduce 50% manpower to do the same work. What a disaster that was. He was booted out quickly.
 
cxsjr
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:02 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

.... cue Gordon Brown to increase 'green' taxes on flying from the U.K. by unrealistic percentage each year until then
The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page ....
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:26 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
"The remainder, about 10 per cent, will come from air traffic control - to ensure there are more direct flights, to ensure that aircraft are not (circling) around the airport before they land," he said.

Sounds like they are saying airlines should buy the A380 to reduce congestion at major airports and airlines should buy the a350xwb to reduce congestion and save fuel by using direct routes that connect "minor" cities and bypass hubs by flying point to point. Sounds reasonable.

[Edited 2007-03-29 19:27:46]
 
WAH64D
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:26 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 7):
Or the EU will just become less relevant as they voluntarily cripple themselves while the rest of the world expands.

Just because the EU press thinks it can somehow make 1.5l planes a reality by flogging airlines unfairly, doesn't mean the world will follow suit...

Heady words indeed. I'd be enjoying a very nice caribbean holiday right now if I had £1 for every time this year I've heard some very knowledgeable financial types stating that the US economy is going to suffer the worst recession in its history over the next 5-10 years. A massive trade deficit and a weak but still overvalued currency are very soon going to jump up and bite you solidly in the rear.

I think your statement might be more aptly directed in another direction my friend.
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ikramerica
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting WAH64D (Reply 27):
I think your statement might be more aptly directed in another direction my friend.

They are not mutually exclusive events, my friend...  Wink

I did not say you'd lose ground to the USA, but on the world stage. Two different things.

The EU will marginalize itself via self destructive taxes and restrictions, and re-privatization of industry that will make you less competitive.

The USA can do the same by continuing to over borrow and produce less and less at home. Of course, the difference is that China is so reliant on the USA to buy all their products, they can't let us fall too far by the wayside.

And if you want a cheap holiday, come to the USA? Your pound goes quite far. I see the beach hotels here in California full of Brits because us Americans can't afford $350 a night but pound 175 seems to be something you guys can handle...  Smile You can sit on the beach and tell us how horrible our country is, which seems to be the hobby of Brits and Aussies who visit, and we'll just keep bringing you more Margaritas...  Wink
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2H4
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:44 am




Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
Winglets can effectively add around 5%, where does the other 20% come from?

Some of the most advanced winglets are already indicating over 10% fuel savings in prototype form. By 2020, 15% would not be unrealistic.

Also, bear in mind that a carbon fiber composite fuselage will allow more precise shaping to optimize local airflow at various locations on the fuselage and wing root.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
hb88
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:24 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 28):
Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 4):
"Winglets can effectively add around 5%, where does the other 20% come from?"

Some of the most advanced winglets are already indicating over 10% fuel savings in prototype form. By 2020, 15% would not be unrealistic.

Holy canoli, you might want to point that out to Aviation Partners, Winglet Technologies, Boeing and Airbus!

Outside of marketing literature, I believe most contemporary winglets produce 3-4% fuel burn reductions (heavily dependent on the specific type of mission and what you're comparing to). In the case of the 60's-era-737-stiffy wing design this improvement isn't surprising, but on most more recent aircraft it's not terrifically spectacular. It's a different matter if the wing has been specifically designed with wing-tip extensions, tip fences or winglets, but it would be interesting indeed to see if a 15% improvement would ever be reached. Of course the obvious question is what is being compared - a retrofitted wing or a purpose built wing? You can't ignore the structural requirements to deal with the increased wing-root bending moment which can substantially cancel out any advantage of a retrofitted winglet or the fact that some wings are inherently already well optimised (eg, the 320 family tip-fences vs winglets).
 
flyabunch
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:30 am

I think it is good to set a high goal. I do it myself with my sales targets. However, when the stated goal is out in the public like this one, then it can lead to some ridicule down the road.

Either they are pretty certain they will be successful due to some technology that they already have on the drawing board or they are some really big dreamers.

It would be great to get 50%. I think a number somewhat less than that is more likely and will still be quite impressive.

Mike
 
AADC10
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:47 am

I wonder if Airbus really means 25% savings in carbon profile from airframe manufacturing. Making aluminum consumes a huge amount of energy.
 
2H4
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:02 am




Quoting HB88 (Reply 29):
Holy canoli, you might want to point that out to Aviation Partners, Winglet Technologies, Boeing and Airbus!

Outside of marketing literature, I believe most contemporary winglets produce 3-4% fuel burn reductions

Aviation Partners already knows. They are developing winglets that have already shown a fuel savings of "greater than 10%". I interpret this as 11% or 12%. I don't think it's unrealistic to predict an additional 3-4% after another decade or so of development.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
hb88
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:14 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 32):
Aviation Partners already knows. They are developing winglets that have already shown a fuel savings of "greater than 10%". I interpret this as 11% or 12%. I don't think it's unrealistic to predict an additional 3-4% after another decade or so of development.

I'm aware of the comments that have been made in the media, but there are no data as far as I know which back up these claims.

AP themselves cite a saving of 7.3% for the Hawker 800 (the 1983 wing variant I think). Good for that vintage of wing design, but I think you would be very pushed to get the same absolute improvement on a modern wing.

AP do have a new winglet design in the wings (heh), but again, I wonder about what would be the relevant benchmark to gauge it by. Also, much of the literature concludes that there is generally little between the designs of modern winglets, the savings or lack of savings coming from the overall structural context (wing/winglet) rather than the winglet per se.
 
2H4
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:22 am




Quoting HB88 (Reply 33):
I'm aware of the comments that have been made in the media, but there are no data as far as I know which back up these claims.

Did you visit the link I posted?

From the Aviation Partners Website:

Quote:
Initial flight tests of the Spiroid concept on a GII reportedly reduced cruise fuel consumption by more than 10%.




Quoting HB88 (Reply 33):
AP do have a new winglet design in the wings (heh), but again, I wonder about what would be the relevant benchmark to gauge it by.

What better benchmark than comparing the new winglet data with:

- that of a non-winglet-equipped wing
- that of a wing equipped with traditional winglets

On a flying testbed, you can establish all of these numbers and make a very legitimate and relevant comparison.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
remcor
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:22 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
Is this realistic?

I think Airbus is going to tell pilots to stop shifting into a lower gear to slow down. Another 5% can be saved by turning of the AC during cool days and maintaining proper tire pressure.
 
WAH64D
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:47 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 27):
They are not mutually exclusive events, my friend...

I did not say you'd lose ground to the USA, but on the world stage. Two different things.

The EU will marginalize itself via self destructive taxes and restrictions, and re-privatization of industry that will make you less competitive.

The USA can do the same by continuing to over borrow and produce less and less at home. Of course, the difference is that China is so reliant on the USA to buy all their products, they can't let us fall too far by the wayside.

And if you want a cheap holiday, come to the USA? Your pound goes quite far. I see the beach hotels here in California full of Brits because us Americans can't afford $350 a night but pound 175 seems to be something you guys can handle... You can sit on the beach and tell us how horrible our country is, which seems to be the hobby of Brits and Aussies who visit, and we'll just keep bringing you more Margaritas...

No offence was intended by my original post. I am not saying in any way shape or form that your country is "horrible". Sure, it has its problems (mainly the people running it IMO) but so does my country (same problem as yours) and every other country has theirs.

My point is that the vast majority of US citizens I speak to have gleaned their entire understanding of EU policies and practices from the US media, most of this "knowledge" is either completely distorted or just downright incorrect. I agree that EU emissions restrictions could be seen as oppressive and bad for the collective health of the combined EU economies. The reality is that somebody has to take the lead in the reduction of emissions and that somebody in this particular issue is the EU. Fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission reductions are global issues. Sooner or later the US will be forced to comply with similar restrictions. It will be much cheaper and easier if your country does this sooner rather than later.

Picture a point 20 years in the future where Airlines can't afford to fly Boeings into LHR, FRA, CDG, and AMS due to "carbon taxes". They're not going to stop flying there. They're going to invest in an aircraft that is clean enough to avoid these penalties. The EU will not be left out in the cold on this as the issue is too big to be ignored.
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WAH64D
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:55 am

double post removed. Apologies to all.

[Edited 2007-03-29 21:56:50]
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hb88
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:56 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 34):
Quoting HB88 (Reply 33):
"I'm aware of the comments that have been made in the media, but there are no data as far as I know which back up these claims."

Did you visit the link I posted?

Yep! I'm well aware of it and will believe the 10% when I see independent testing results! My recollection is that the spiroid winglet has been around since Pontius was a Pilot and has never been adopted seriously - I have no idea why other than perhaps that they'd make passengers nervous and look even sillier than the big-bird winglets on the 737  Wink

Sorry, I'm one of those people who, in terms of aesthetics, think winglets on a 737 screws up a very very fine classic design and make the 73 look like a circus-clown aircraft.

As for efficiencies, comparing an unwingleted wing with a wingleted does not make complete sense. A wing with a winglet needs to have additional inboard strengthening to deal with the larger root bending moments caused by the presence of the winglet at the tip. This impacts the fuel efficiency, in some cases, dramatically. Remember the quoted figures are for a Gulfstream GII - that's what, a 60's wing design? It's probably not surprising that you could get a 10% improvement out of that airframe.

I guess you could design a wing with a winglet and then compare this with a nekkid wing, but you'd have to take out all of the structural mods to be able to say with any certainty what the overall fuel-burn saving would be. Also, for a short-haul mission, you generally get much smaller efficiences due to less time in the cruise where winglets make their most signficant contribution.

Anyway, it's splitting hairs. The only real retrofit test is in flight test where, as the Airbus trials showed, the improvement was marginal given the efficiency of the original wing/fence design. For a purpose-built wing/winglet, it's a moot point as the combination has to be taken rather than considering the effect of the winglet in isolation. I assume that most of the figures bandied about are retrofit stats which, IMO can be very misleading without knowing the typical mission and wing structural/weight penalty involved in adding the winglets. Winglets *can* for sure produce fuel savings and help trick-up sub-optimal wings, but one needs to know what is being sensibly compared.
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:39 pm

A 50% reduction in fuel consumption is reasonable, even if the 2020 timeframe sounds very ambitious:

Let's start out with the engines:
A geared fan in combination with a recuperator and an intercooler could reduce SFC by about 15%, improvements in other parts (compressor, burner and turbine) could give another 5%.

So lets say the engines can give an SFC that is reduced by 25%.  checkmark 

Have a look at what needs the engine. The engines are needed by the airframe itself. Why? Because the airframe produces drag. In a first-order approximation, drag is weight divided by glide number. So for the airframe to increase efficiency, we need to a) reduce weight and b) reduce drag (or increase lift with a given drag).

a) How do we reduce weight? Well weight is mass times gravitational acceleration. Modifying the former might be a possibility, but not in 2020; so we're stuck with reducing the mass: Use lighter materials and most of all, optimise the structure. "Better" carbon fibres are possible, stronger alloys, whatever. a 5% reduction in OEM sounds possible for the given timeframe.

b) Reducing drag: Here comes the difficult thing. There won't be any quantum leaps in aerodynamic efficiency (Cl over Cd) with our ancient Stable-B47-Configuration. Sure, modified wingtips can be one thing. Non-smooth surfaces to reduce drag are another (they might easily give like 5% however); but we have to ditch the configuration. What options have we? 1) Keep the configuration and go unstable. That could give you about 5% basically for free. 2) Move the ailerons to the front (canard configuration). Gives you a rough 5% as well. 3) Use a lifting body (be it BWB, lifting body only or all-wing-configuration) Could give you somewhat more than 5%, but possibly not that much. However, all in all, an improvement of aerodynamic efficiency of 12% is a possibly reasonable assumption.

c) Other technologies & systems. Mainly improve interaction between components. One thing that really jumps to my mind is BLI (boundary layer ingestion), others are more electrical aircraft and stuff. Lets say this area give us another 3% in improvement of aerodynamic efficiency and 2% reduction in OEM.

Please note that the absolute numbers here do not matter in the following analysis.

Now, lets assume we have a sample aircraft with a Zero-Fuel Mass of 1 and a Takeoff Mass of 1.6 (i.e. 37.5% of the mass is fuel on takeoff), and aerodynamic efficiency of 1, a flight velocity of 1, and specific fuel consumption of 1, and lets set the gravitational acceleration to 1 for simplicity. This gives us an overall, first order range of 0.47. This is our baseline aircraft.
Now, we have a new aircraft with a Zero-Fuel Mass of 0.93, a (to be computed Takeoff Mass), and aerodynamic efficiency of 1.15, a flight velocity of 1 and a specific fuel consumption of 0.75, again the gravitational acceleration of 1. And we want a range of 0.47 as well. This gives us a Takeoff Mass of 1.26.

The baseline aircraft needed 0.6 units of fuel for the given mission.
The new aircraft needed 0.33 units of fuel for the given mission, or a reduction of 44%.
This was achieved by reducing SFC by 25%, aerodynamic efficiency improved by 15% and Empty Mass per Seat reduced by 7%.

SailorOrion
 
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sebolino
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:48 pm

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 15):
I certainly hope Airbus has something huge they've been hiding, or they're going to have to shove their foot so far into their mouth it'll come out the other end...

Very classy.

I suppose Airbus is setting a target, which is the first step to do anything. It may be only a dream, who knows.
But what is sure, is that fossile fuel will become in the 30 or 40 next years more and more expensive, and less and less popular in the opinion. The needs for a real reduction will show soon I believe, and I'm sure the engine manufacturer have started or will start soon research programs to replace kerozene by something else (hydrogen ?).
 
Ruscoe
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RE: Airbus To Cut Fuel Consumption 50% By 2020

Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:05 pm

If Airbus can achieve 50% reduction by 2020, then nobody is going to order a 350-1000 for delivery in 2015, when a five year wait will yield such an improvement.

The claim is utterly proposterous, and damaging to the Airbus sales team.

Ruscoe

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