Europe To Spend 1.6 Billion (Euro) On Clean Aircraft Research

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Europe's Clean Sky initiative is targeting a 50-percent reduction in CO2 emissions, an 80-percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 50-percent reduction in perceived noise levels (all from baseline year 2000 levels) to be met by the year 2020. The plan involves research intended to demonstrate smart wing technologies based on natural and hybrid laminar flow research, active load control and materials development to conclude in flight demonstrations. Powerplant integration will be considered with specific attention paid to the impact of airframe flow fields on propeller efficiency with "open rotor configurations on the airframe, and innovative empennage design," according to engineerlive.com. Development of the demonstration aircraft is expected to evolve, but the initial design will be a direct-drive pusher design -- a point from which to diverge. Contributing members include universities and research centers as well as the European Commission and industry names that include Rolls-Royce, EADS, Eurocopter and others. Aviation emissions account for approximately 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, according to aircraft manufacturers, and by some estimates jet engines are today 70 percent more environmentally friendly in that regard than they were 40 years ago.