Do we see tomorrow's flight fly like migratory birds? With several aircraft forming a "V", with a leading aircraft in the front edge of the air resistance followed by other aircraft flying back slightly offset on the sides? A process that allows each aircraft to benefit from the draft aircraft that precedes it and thereby reduce its air resistance and thus its fuel consumption? Perhaps. In any case, this is one of the projects that Airbus is working on to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This project, called "Flawless", which was presented this Monday, November 18, at the Dubai Airshow, would reduce the consumption of each aircraft by 5 to 10% (except that which is at its peak).
"Thanks to" faultless "flight, a tracking aircraft recovers the energy lost through a conducting aircraft flying in the rising air of soft air it creates. An elevator that allows it to reduce engine propulsion and thus reduce fuel consumption. the order of 5 to 10% per turn, says Airbus.
"We do not fly in formation, but three kilometers and laterally distant from the center of the whirlpool generated by the wing of the previous plane. The flight is actually in the air brewed around the whirlpool, where the energy is very low"said Sandra Bour-Schaeffer, Airbus demonstration manager, as one aside.
A distance and a position that not only preserves flight safety but also the comfort of passengers in relation to turbulence, she said.
As a reminder, to avoid "waking turbulence", the following aircraft must follow longitudinal separation rules that go, cruise, 4 to 8 nautical miles (7.5 to 15 kilometers).
Commissioned by 2025
At present, the Airbus demonstrator is limited to two planes. Following a recently tested A380 as an aircraft and A350 as a tracking plan, more tests are planned next year with two A350s. In 2021, Airbus expects real tests with airlines and partners for air navigation services. The airplane manufacturer expects commissioning on sea roads until 2025
"The technical solution that Airbus is working on involves pilot assistance functions that are necessary to ensure that the aircraft they fly on remain securely located in the update of the aircraft they follow, at the same distance, at a constant altitude."says the aircraft manufacturer.
Not to mention the technical problems, the challenges are operational are many. Such a system requires, among other things, the coordination of aircraft between each company with meeting places in flight.