Brussels, 1 July 2002
Key words : Aeronautics industry research,
environment, transport, European Research Area
AWIATOR, a new European Technology
Platform project to reduce fuel burn and noise in future commercial
airliners was launched today in Toulouse, in the presence of Airbus’
COO Gustav Humbert, Airbus’ Head of Engineering Alain Garcia and
European Commission representatives. On this occasion, Airbus and
the other partners in the AWIATOR consortium celebrated the kick-off
of this new EUR 80 Million technology platform. The project, co-financed
for 50% by the EU’s research budget, will validate advanced technologies
for future aircraft wing design. It will directly contribute to
the ambitious goals set out in the High Level Report “European Aeronautics:
Vision for 2020”. They include a 50% reduction of fuel burn and
a reduction by half of aircraft noise.
Busquin, EU Research Commissioner “European aeronautic research
has a key role to play in securing Europe’s leadership in this strategic
area. Research must ensure that our aeronautics industry remains
competitive in global markets. But it must also help to meet the
European citizens’ expectations for safer and user-friendly transport
that respects the environment. Research is at the core of a modern
industrial policy. By building a true European
Research Area, we reinforce the science and technology base
for our cutting-edge, strategically important industries, such as
aeronautics and space. AWIATOR is a good example of broad-based,
EU-wide, innovative partnerships between industry and public research.”
Broad-based international co-operation.
Beside the Airbus engineering teams in France, Germany and the UK
more than twenty partners from industry in Europe and Israel (e.g.
Alenia(I), EADS(D), GKN Aerospace(UK), IAI(Israel), SENER(E), SONACA(B))
and from European aeronautics research (e.g. CERFACS(F), DLR(D),
NLR(NL), ONERA(F) ) will jointly develop and validate the technologies.
They will be supported by several universities in Athens (GR), Lisbon
(P), Louvain (B) and Marseille (F) and numerous test centres and
Ambitious goals for future aircraft.
AWIATOR will target three key areas:
- Far field flow of aircraft, especially addressing the wake vortex
and noise phenomena.
- Near field flow around aircraft, looking at advanced wing design
aspects (e.g. large winglets for performance improvements )
- The control of the flow around and the wing loads of aircraft
by use of novel control surface elements and turbulence sensors.
The target is a 5 to 7 % in terms
of drag reduction, especially at take-off and landing, and 2 % in
terms of trip fuel reduction for long-range flights. Additional
expected benefits include a noise reduction of two decibel (EPNdB).
The project will also deliver new design rules for future commercial
aircraft and for the update of existing ones.
Challenging test programmes planned.
The four-year project will perform numerous challenging tests in
Europes biggest wind tunnels (e.g. DNW-LLF, ONERA S1) and
in a water towing-tank (HSVA). It will become one of the first customers
in the new large catapult test facility B20 of ONERA in Lille (F).
The final highlight of the validation process will be two flight
test campaigns with more than hundred flight hours planned for 2003
and 2005. They will be performed by the Airbus A340 MSN001 test
aircraft, specially modified for AWIATOR.
Key example of European Research
Area in Aeronautics The project builds on results of complementary
research in Europe. Necessary critical technologies for AWIATOR
have been developed by several projects within the Community Research
Framework Programmes (e.g. C-Wake, EUROLIFT, HiReTT). Other key
enabling technologies financed nationally will also contribute significantly
to AWIATOR (e.g. NEXUS project of the British Department for Trade
and Industry, Pro-HMS and RAWID projects of German Ministry of Economics
Overall, this project represents
key example of the emergence of a European Research Area in Aeronautics.
The Sixth Research Framework Programme - just launched by the European
Union - will provide the largest ever Community budget for aeronautics
research. It will stimulate enabling technologies for the long-term
goals of Vision for 2020.
NOTE FOR EDITORS
Dietrich Knoerzer, Scientific Officer, Aeronautics Unit, Directorate-General Research,
Fax: +32 2 29.66757
Patrick Vittet-Philippe, Press and Information Officer,
Directorate-General research, european commission
Fax: +32 2 29.58220