Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-10-19

ILA Digital Addresses Climate-neutral Aviation

The recently concluded ‘ILA Goes Digital’, one of the world’s first digital aerospace shows, as well as the #AeroDays2020 and the Berlin Aviation Summit that will be held in November, make up three high-level international events that are dedicated to climate-neutral aviation, an important topic for the aerospace industry.
 
Volker Thum, Managing Director of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), said: “We are confronting the industry’s biggest long-term challenge: climate-neutral aviation. At the digital ILA, we took important steps, laying down markers for this goal. In November, the European #AeroDays2020 will follow. At this event, an important high-level meeting of its kind in Europe, the aim is to drive forward aviation technology, innovation and research. Kicking off the event in Berlin will be the Berlin Aviation Summit.”
 
Paving the Way
Following the cancellation of ILA 2020, a leading platform for innovation in aerospace, due to COVID-19, the BDLI and Messe Berlin launched ILA Goes Digital. From 13 May to 31 July, over 120 exhibitors highlighted how the goal of climate-neutral aviation can be achieved by 2050.

The European research programme Clean Sky 2 showed how innovative technologies can be employed to substantially reduce emissions.

MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce and Avio Aero demonstrated how revolutionary propulsion concepts of the future will contribute significantly to attaining that goal.
 
Over the last few months, the digital ILA has set a new standard. Close to 30,000 visitors from around the world took part in the event. The content was viewed and shared thousands of times on LinkedIn and Facebook. It reached tens of thousands of users on Twitter alone and the hashtag #ilagoesdigital was retweeted thousands of times. This shows that despite the crisis and restrictions there is great demand for discussing important topics via new, dynamic formats.
 
Turbocharger for New Developments
The aviation industry has guaranteed – climate-neutral growth from 2020 and halving of net CO2 emissions by 2050 – while significantly increasing transport services. These ambitious goals will only be feasible through constructive dialogue between aircraft manufacturers and airlines, large companies and start-ups, policymakers and aviation authorities, and climate and noise pollution researchers. This can only be achieved if aircraft manufacturers and airlines, companies and start-ups, policymakers and aviation authorities, as well as climate and noise researchers work together. 
 
With every new aircraft generation, CO2 and noise emissions are sinking and the demands on cost-effectiveness and flight safety continue to increase. But the development of new aircraft concepts is still time-consuming and cost intensive. This is where digitalisation acts like a turbocharger for new developments in the aviation industry. Virtual development processes allow the aircraft of tomorrow to fly in virtual reality first. Concepts can be improved at an early stage regarding efficiency, safety and emissions. Industry 4.0 also makes production more agile and resourceful. Big data concepts, which gauge the information from thousands of sensors in the aircraft, completely redesign aircraft maintenance – and thus make flying even more efficient, safer and reduce emissions further. ILA Berlin presented state-of-the-art solutions and visions for the future.
 
Unmanned aircraft systems can kickstart the next revolution in mobility. Aerospace industry, research institutes and start-ups worldwide are developing and testing new concepts for the environmentally friendly contribution to the mobility of the future. This includes more than purely technical questions: Which new business models can result from the technology? How does regulation have to look like in order to ensure maximum safety in the future as well? Which framework conditions will achieve social acceptance? The ILA Berlin showed what is already possible today and discussed open questions with experts.
 
Green electric mobility is now picking up speed in the sky as well. Large aircraft and engine construction companies are combining their know-how to launch a hybrid-electric regional jet as early as 2021. In the same year, an innovation alliance consisting of almost 20 mostly medium-sized companies and research institutes plans to launch a hybrid-electric aircraft. 
 
Additionally, novel fuels significantly contribute to sustainability. This is why alternative kerosene is a key priority of the climate policy agenda. In Germany, the federal government, the federal states and the aerospace industry are drawing up a roadmap to promote CO2-neutral power-to-liquid (PtL) fuels. Moreover, research and industry are pursuing further approaches for sustainable biofuels extraction, for example from algae. To highlight this, a competition for the best technology and ideal CO2 balance was held at the ILA.
 
Today, flying has to become quieter, and innovative engine technologies are significantly contributing to this. The latest engines reduce the noise carpet during takeoff by around 70 per cent – aircraft equipped with the latest technology were experienced first-hand at the ILA.
 
Gearing Up For #AeroDays2020
Another important event for the future of civil aviation will be taking place from 24 to 26 November. At this event, the aim will be to jointly develop strategies for the “new normal” in aviation and to drive forward research, innovation and technology as key elements of a sustainable, digitalised and competitive aerospace industry. The event will bring leading figures from research, politics, industry, the financial world and energy companies together in Berlin during Germany’s tenure of the EU council presidency. 
 
Kicking off the #AeroDays2020 on 24 November will be the Berlin Aviation Summit (BAS), known as the “Davos of aviation.” Over the next two days of the innovation platform that is the #AeroDays2020 FORUM, discussions will take place on the technological feasibility of different strategies.
 
 

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