The impact of a new mid-range aircraft with advanced technologies on air traffic emissions and climate
Aviation is currently undoubtedly facing the deepest crisis ever. However, the industry is expected to return to its long-term growth trend with or without a certain offset from its historic trend line. Thus, the greening of air transport remains an important challenge, and technological and operational solutions need to be found as soon as possible. This includes the development of aircraft which make use of advanced technologies with improved environmental performance, as investigated in DLR’s project ATLAs. In this study we present research results on emission changes of a new advanced technology mid-range aircraft on fleet and global level and the corresponding implications on climate. The technologies under investigation are CO2-managed cabin, hybrid laminar flow control as well as functional-driven moveables for load alleviation. The approach combines the calculation of emission inventories for various technology combinations with an established climate response model. The results indicate that the implementation of the three mentioned technologies in a new mid-range aircraft with an expected Entry into Sevice in 2028 has the potential to reduce the fuel consumption in a representative airline sub-fleet by up to 7% and to reduce NOx emissions by even up to 12%, depending on how the technologies are combined. As a consequence, the climate impact can be reduced by up to 7.7%, taking the effects from CO2, H2 O, NOx and contrail cirrus into account.