Airbus, Air France, and DSNA (the French Air Navigation Service Provider) have started working towards developing "most energy efficient flight" after their first demonstration flight, Air France Flight AF7518, from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac, on 21 September.
Air France's A320 flight flew in an optimized trajectory, with continuous climb-and-descent operation. This was the first of many trials that will be conducted during 2021-2022 under the Single European Sky ATM Research project (SESAR).
According to Laurent Fontain, the optimized flight reduced CO2 emissions by 5 percent at the Airbus Summit in Toulouse.
. @airfrance AF7518 Paris–Toulouse was flown today using an optimized flight profile which reduced CO2 emissions by 5%. Laurent Fontain, AF pilot, says this at #airbussummit. This includes continued climb and descent, single engine taxiing. There is potential for a 7-10% reduction. pic.twitter.com/Wfpwg4QFGq Richard_on_aviation (@rschuur_aero) September 21, 2021
ALBATROSS was launched in February 2021 by major European aviation stakeholder organizations, led by Airbus.
Through a series gate-to-gate demonstration flights, it demonstrates the feasibility of short-term implementation of most energy-efficient flight operations by combining multiple R&D operational and technical innovations.
ALBATROSS employs a holistic approach to covering all flight phases. It directly involves all relevant stakeholder groups (such airlines, ANSPs network managers, airports, industry, and network managers) and addresses both technological and operational aspects of aviation.
During the demonstrations of flight, many solutions will be demonstrated.
New precision approach methods for continuous climb and fall
A more dynamic management of airspace constraints
sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage
A variety of data analytics-based tools that will assist pilots in identifying tactical in-flight optimization opportunities to increase fuel efficiency will also be introduced. There will also be opportunities to reduce Air Traffic Management restrictions through airspace design using collaborative procedures. Also, a certain amount of flexibility in the constraints may be possible. To reduce ground emissions, a hybrid sustainable towing vehicle ("TaxiBot") will be used to provide taxi assistance without the need for engines.
These live trials will include approximately 1,000 demonstration flights starting in September 2021. They will demonstrate mature operational solutions that could reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In 2022, the first results are expected.
Airbus, Air France and Austro Control are the ALBATROSS partners.