The "green" ATR Flying Demonstrator takes off.
The purpose of the flying demonstration is to test new and more effective composite insulating materials and the vibro-acoustic sensors integrated into a large crown panel of ATR forward fuselage section. The flights will be able to test the new generation of optical fibers for improved identification of micro-cracks and easier maintenance too.
Such advanced technologies, developed by ATR’s partner company Alenia Aermacchi, should reduce the aircraft weight, fuel consumption, CO2 & NOx emissions and noise level.
The “green” ATR 72 prototype today made the first flight of the “Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (CS JTI)” test campaign. CS JTI is a measure adopted by the European Parliament to support the trend of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives in the field of research, with the aim of jointly developing a wide spectrum of technologies devoted to a clean, innovative and competitive air transport system. The Clean Sky goal is to achieve major steps towards the ACARE Environmental Goals for 2020 when compared to 2000 levels: 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, 80% cut in NOx emissions and halving of noise pollution. The project is financed 50/50 by the aeronautical industry and by the European Union.
ATR has been a member of the project since it was created in 2008, through its Italian shareholder Alenia Aermacchi, the Coordinator of Green Regional Aircraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator, inside the CS JTI. Today’s flight is the first of all those planned for the initiative’s Projects. Later on, towards the end of the year, a second flight test campaign will be checking out improvements to the electrical distribution, energy dispersal and the air conditioning systems. The improvements being jointly developed and tested on the ATR today will eventually benefit all regional aircraft tomorrow.
Carmine Orsi, Senior Vice-President Engineering was delighted by this first flight of the “Clean Sky” project. “The ATRs already enjoy a worldwide reputation for the low gas emissions of their propeller engines. Today, we are going further by using one of our aircraft to test the fruit of several years of joint work with the researchers, which should enable us to be even greener in the future”. He concluded, “As aircraft manufacturers, we have a real responsibility to develop increasingly green technologies, in particular given that in the coming years, more and more aircraft will be taking to the skies”.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold over 1,500 aircraft. With over 24 million flight hours, ATR models equip the fleets of 190 airlines in more than 90 countries. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and Airbus Group. Its head office is in Toulouse. ATR is ISO 14001 certified.
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