Airbus, Air France and DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), have begun working towards the development of 'most energy efficient flights', following their inaugural demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac on the day of the Airbus Summit event.
The aircraft flew an optimised trajectory, marking the first of a series of trials planned during 2021 and 2022 within the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) 'ALBATROSS' project.
Launched in February 2021, ALBATROSS is a large-scale initiative of major European aviation stakeholder groups led by Airbus. It aims to demonstrate, through a series of gate-to-gate live demonstration flights across Europe, the feasibility of implementing most energy efficient flights in the short term, by combining several R&D technical and operational innovations.
ALBATROSS follows an holistic approach by covering all flight phases, directly involving all relevant stakeholder groups (such as airlines, ANSPs, network managers, airports and industry) and addressing both operational and technological aspects of aviation and Air Traffic Management (ATM). Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations, from new precision approach procedures to continuous climb and descent, a more dynamic management of necessary airspace constraints, sustainable taxiing and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage.
Thanks to the transmission of four-dimensional trajectory data, ATM will be able to optimise and better predict an aircraft’s trajectory, thereby enabling it to immediately and concretely reduce a flight's environmental footprint.
Starting from September 2021, these live trials will involve around 1,000 demonstration flights, showcasing mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emission savings. First results are expected to be available in 2022.
The ALBATROSS partners are Airbus, Air France, Austro Control, DLR, DSNA, Eurocontrol, LFV, Lufthansa, Novair, Schiphol, Smart Airport Systems, SWEDAVIA, SWISS, Thales AVS France and WIZZ AIR UK. The funding of the project is provided by the EU.