Air­bus and DLR in­ten­si­fy co­op­er­a­tion

Airbus and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are expanding their cooperation in research on climate protection in aviation. Under an agreement signed by Nicole Dreyer-Langlet, Airbus’ VP Research & Technology Representative, Germany, and Markus Fischer, DLR Divisional Board Member Aeronautics, future joint projects will focus, in particular, on emission measurements for new types of aviation fuels, including hydrogen, and on understanding the effect of emissions on the atmosphere in conjunction with the improvement of climate models.

DLR Falcon 20-E in flight in cooperation with Airbus. Source: Airbus

“We at Airbus are extremely happy to cooperate with DLR as one of the world’s leading research institutions when it comes to measuring and analysing emissions during in-flight operations,” said Nicole Dreyer-Langlet. “We are pleased to benefit from this scientific expertise when it comes to developing new concepts, as well as further optimising existing aircraft. The more precise atmospheric and climate models are, the better we can use them as a basis for developing and optimising aircraft. Climate protection in aviation is a top priority for Airbus. Partnerships with universities and research institutions such as DLR play a key role in its successful implementation.”

DLR and Airbus are already cooperating at a number of levels. For example, the DLR research aircraft Falcon 20-E has been conducting measurement flights with Airbus test aircraft, while modelling of the climate impact from air traffic using suitable design criteria for climate-optimised aircraft designs is also underway.

“With our research fleet and our diversified institutes, DLR has overall systems expertise in aeronautics research,” said Markus Fischer. “We are now increasingly collaborating with Airbus and are pleased to be working with one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers on a targeted path towards climate-neutral aviation.”

Currently, the partners are already successfully conducting joint flight tests as part of the Emission and Climate Impact of Alternative Fuels (ECLIF3) campaign. The focus of this study is on measuring emissions when using 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and comparing them to conventional kerosene. Today, it is already possible to operate the Airbus fleet with 50 percent SAF but Airbus has ambitions to achieve certification for 100 percent SAF by 2030.