Aviation and Enviroment:

Large investments have already been made in Europe and the US through R&T programmes and collaborations to reduce the negative environmental effects of aircraft use. Research is therefore providing the technologies to improve the performance of existing engine components.

However, even if these technologies improve noise and pollution emissions, their existing limitations will not allow the industry to reach the goals set in the field of aeronautics research in the Vision 2020  report made by ACARE Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).

The Advisory Council of Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE) identified the research needs for the aeronautics industry for 2020. The engine has to contribute to the overall ACARE targets with a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre, 10 dB noise reduction per certification point and a 80% reduction in NOX emissions.

The existing technology programmes have already identified concepts and technologies to contribute to these goals. The Engine industry has set-up a roadmap to find the optimal solutions for all the different applications (i.e. long/short range big/small aircraft).

In the 5th EU Framework Programme for research and technology development the projects EEFAE (Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Aero Engine)  and SILENCER (Significantly Lower Community Exposure to Aircraft Noise) were established to validate the first steps towards the ACARE targets on engine level. The CLEAN (Component Validator for Environmentally-friendly Aero-Engine) demonstrator has been aimed at the validation of components for the future concepts like the geared turbo fan and the intercooled recuperative aero engine concept. Testing of the vehicles has been realized in autumn 2004 using specialised test facilities in Germany (CLEAN Film).

In the 6th EU Framework Programme two big integrated projects haves been set-up. The EU integrated project VITAL is focusing on technologies for low pressure system improvements to reduce CO2 and noise. There is, however, complementary research to be performed on combustor technologies and introduction of new engine core configurations to reduce NOX emissions and further reduce CO2 to achieve the SRA 2020 objectives. Alternative engine configurations consequently need to be investigated in order to find a more significant and durable reduction of pollution. This will be developed within the EU integrated programme for NEW Aero engine Core concepts.