Airbus and Air France complete green commercial flight

Oct. 14, 2011
Paris, France, 14, Oct, 2011. Air France and Airbus completed a green commercial flight by combining the latest fuel and air traffic management technologies. The flight, taken by an Airbus A321 from Toulouse-Blagnac to Paris-Orly, cut CO2 emissions in half when compared to regular flights.The (AF6129) commercial flight combined for the first time the use of bio-fuels (50 per cent in each engine), optimized air traffic management (ATM) and efficient Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) to minimize CO2 emissions.

Combining these technologies helped half the overall CO2 emissions to 54 grams per passenger and kilometer. This is equivalent to a fuel efficiency of 2.2 litres of fuel per passenger and 100 Kilometers.

Bio-fuel is one solution for reducing overall CO2 emissions. Airbus’ alternative fuel strategy is to speed up its commercialization through sustainable bio-fuel value chains. Thanks to several test flights and collaboration with the fuels standards bodies (ASTM and DefStan), today the use of 50 per cent bio-fuel blends are authorized in commercial flights.

A more efficient ATM system could also help reduce the amount of fuel burned by aircraft and therefore the CO2 emitted. Airbus strongly supports the streamlining of ATM and has launched a new subsidiary company, called “Airbus ProSky”, dedicated to the development and support of modern air traffic management (ATM) systems to achieve the highest operational efficiencies with more direct routings resulting in around 10 percent less aircraft fuel consumption, as well as significant reductions in CO2 and noise emissions.

CDA is becoming more widespread as a way to reduce fuel burn. During a CDA procedure, the aircraft descends continuously, avoiding level flight prior to the final approach and requires significantly less engine thrust and therefore less fuel burn.

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