Eine englische Forschergruppe hat jetzt eine Studie veröffentlicht, nach welcher für einen weitere Senkung des Energieverbrauchs auch neuartige Maßnahmen angedacht werden sollen. Dazu gehören das Umfliegen von kalter und feuchter Luft, Formationsflug und Luftbetankung.
Infrastructure to allow in-flight refuelling of medium-haul airliners should be put in place if governments are serious about reducing aircraft emissions, a new report says.
A study into mitigating the environmental impact of aviation by the Greener by Design science and technology sub-group of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society details a series of research priorities for propulsion and airframe manufacturers and suggests interim changes to aircraft operation including routeing air traffic to avoid cold wet air, formation flying and air-to-air refuelling for long-haul flights.
John Green, chairman of the sub-group, says it will take a change in mindset for airlines and governments to accept such radical proposals, but that they should be taken seriously. “Formation flying could save around 10% in fuel burn by NASA estimates, but flying close together goes against the current ATM [air traffic management] grain that keeps aircraft apart in the skies,” he says.
Similarly, although medium-haul twin-engined aircraft are more fuel efficient than long-range variants, airlines reject them on commercial grounds because they require multiple stopovers. Green believes operators could be persuaded to re-examine their options if air-to-air refuelling were viable. “If you moved to a global fleet of aircraft with ranges of around 5,000km [2,700nm], with refuelling bases ideally situated in the middle of nowhere near oil refineries, you could design aircraft to take off almost empty,” he says.
Arguments that in-flight refuelling is not safe are undermined by its current use for head-of-state transport, not least by the USA. “If it’s good enough for Air Force One, then it must be good enough for ordinary passengers,” says Green.
Ob das jemals was wird?
BTW: Under folgendem Link gibt es ein schönes Cut-Away! (sind 1.5MB PDF, lädt also eventuell etwas)