Airbus Launches New Innovation Unit


Airbus officially launched its new Airbus Scale innovation unit on Wednesday. According to the company, the unit is expected to focus on promoting and identifying “internal corporate innovation opportunities that can be developed into solutions for the external world” as well as partnering with external startups to develop technology and products. It will specifically look at programs and businesses that align with Airbus’ emissions goals, which include developing a “zero-emission” commercial aircraft by 2035.

“Pioneering sustainable aerospace will be a collective challenge and innovation is at the core of it,” said Airbus Chief Technical Officer Sabine Klauke. “By setting up Airbus Scale, we will use our existing internal knowledge and know-how to scale up new companies from underutilised assets. We will also look outside to seek, and inject into Airbus, startups that have relevant technology for our future zero emissions ambition.”

The company says Airbus Scale is aiming to bring together “corporate innovation, startup engagement and company building activities” in support of Airbus’ recovery and future growth. The unit will operate alongside Airbus innovation centers such as Silicon Valley’s Acubed and the Airbus China Innovation Centre (ACIC) in Shenzhen along with the Airbus UpNext technology demonstrator program.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. I, as a passenger, want wider seats, nicer terminals, less baggage restrictions, decent snacks, and more direct flights.

    Can I assume Airbus is innovating for the benefit of passengers?

      • Since aviation is 2% of the 2% of man released CO2, make plane travel comfortable again! Obviously atmospheric warming is negligible (or at least within the limits of the measuring instruments for the last 30 years). Making a 10% percentage savings on the 2% of 2% of a trace gas in the atmosphere is an idiotic way to “save the planet”.

        • Its a big planet. It will cope. I would also like a more comfortable flying experience and I don’t give a rats arse about a zillionth of a degree of ‘global warming’.

        • Current estimates put commercial aviation at 3.5% of all the effects that artificially cause the Earth to warm. It is a logical fallacy to throw out anything that that doesn’t 100% solve a problem. Solving global warming will require hundreds of changes to the way humans affect the Earth, most of which will not be perfectly effective. And while I understand that you don’t care, without significant changes large areas of the planet will be uninhabitable by the next century.

          • “the planet will be uninhabitable by the next century” is pure left nonsense propaganda without a shred of evidence. I guess it takes ignorant chicken littles to balance the narrative, but such comments are pure BS.

          • Wrong. Man only contributes 2% so that would be 3.5% of 2% of a trace gas. Also, since co2 is not causing measurable atmospheric warming, you cannot say that co2 is warming the earths surface.

            People need to read the literature instead of listening to political hacks and biased sources.

    • They already have wider seats, free checked baggage, and better snacks. It’s called First Class. I suspect that airlines have been skimping because customers want low prices more than anything else.

      • Why not improve aircraft design for more comfort at lower cost for all? Making it more expensive and less comfortable (for zero measurable environmental impact) is not a benefit for humans.

  2. A “zero-emission” commercial aircraft by 2035. IMPOSSIBLE.
    Their head technologist needs to retake Physics 101.
    They should name the unit, “AirBull”

    • Not exactly, but more fun. But it does address the idea of an integrated transportation system for short distances. 🙂

  3. The airlines have a problem. They often cannot get crews between airports using scheduled airliners when they need to. This has resulted in many cancellations and delays costing lots of money and embarrassment. Similarly, quick transport of parts is needed between airports.

    My thought was creation of a smaller plane that could fly when needed instead of on a schedule. Likely, the pilots needing transportation could be taught to fly these miniature craft with only 5 or 6 seats. Seems like a better solution than renting a van to drive them overnight. Surely, the airlines would be interested.

    (No one has ever told me why they don’t do this. Do they really believe piston planes are unsafe or are they afraid of the PR of putting their people in a GA plane?)

    • They’re using the deadhead method to address the problem which often worked OK earlier, not so well now. As for the PR issue – make the flight crews buy tickets for their repositioning flights so it becomes a commercial op. Problem solved!

  4. Airbus likes PR.

    As for CO2 emissions, the notion that humans are causing runaway climate warming is a crock.

    The basic physics of greenhouse gasses limits the temperature rise from CO2 – the gas of our life as it feeds us, to a small amount most of which has already been realized.

    Reason is the ‘saturation effect’ of overlap of absorption-emission spectra of carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide.

    Accurate temperature sensors such as weather balloons and satellite sensors, and tide gages collated at, show only a continuation of the slow rise wince end of a cool era circa 1750AD.

      • According to the liberal genius, the ending of the world is imminent:

        ‘Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while selling her “Green New Deal,” said that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done to address climate change.

        “Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z… we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,'” Ocasio-Cortez said in January 2019’

        The UN says it has alrewady ended:
        In 1989, the Associated Press relayed a warning from a U.N. official:

        “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

        The official was Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, who added: “Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheat lands.”

        I can produce 11 other examples but I have work to do.

        Chicken Little is truly alive in the American liberal.

        • Thankyou.

          The negative climate catastrophists have been predicting doom for half a century, all predictions FAIL.

          Brat Greta is just burping up her grandparent’s negative fantasies.

        • “Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheat lands.”

          Alarmist predictions of where droughts and precipitation will occur shift frequently, some are contradictory. IMJ they are deliberate scare-mongering.

          One good aspect of modern agriculture that feeds so many more people today is better knowledge of handling drought including tillage practices. The big expansion of farming into the Central Plains of North America did not have that knowledge, so was vulnerable to a once-in-75+year drought. Recall a drought occurred again a few years ago, but centered well to the south – Texas hit hard, Iowa medium – whereas in the 1930s southern Canada and northern US were hit hard.

          Drought periods occur, California has had periods in the last millennia, drought was a major factor in decline of the Mayan Empire (mysticism was another – sacrificing babies on religious altars does not change climate).

          BTW, I take the existence of the Amazon and the Sahara as instructive – ample precipitation in one, sparse in the other. Distribution is the problem, and it can vary.

      • Atmospheric response to CO2 occurs over decades. What we dump into the air will stay there and affect us for a long time. The world will not end in 12 years, but if we don’t change the amount of CO2 we put in the atmosphere in the next 12 years, the world will become a very different place 50 years from now.

        Expanding on Jackalope Express’s first link:
        The “CO2 saturation effect” is a fallacy, based on a misunderstanding of heat transfer in the atmosphere.

        In brief, the CO2 absorption in the earth’s atmosphere has been saturated for a long time. Only the upper atmosphere radiates heat into space (in the absorption wavelength band). In the lower atmosphere, heat is transferred upwards by convection.

        Saturating the heat absorption requires a certain total number of CO2 molecules. An increase the CO2 percentage in the atmosphere means a thinner shell of the upper air contains the necessary CO2. This raises the altitude of the convection/radiation transition. To maintain the same heat radiation, you need the same temperature, but at a higher altitude. Because of the atmospheric temperature lapse rate, that means you need a higher surface / sea level temperature.

        • So is half a century of FAILED predictions long enough to prove your claim?

          Are you overlooking the effect of clouds, which are not in popular theories called ‘models’? Nor is water vapour.

      • Uh, the first article claims a different mechanism

        I point to IPCC’s agreement with the saturation effect. But IPCC postulated a positive feedback loop involving evaporation that is not being seen and did not occur in the warmer Medieval Warm Period when Vikings farmed southwest Greenland.

        The second article is misleading in that it focusses on one seemingly shallow paper.

        Note that the second article invokes ‘science’ and ‘mainstream’ – shady tactics, there are many scientists who disagree with catastrophists, there are many scummy scientists who try to smear and suppress (revealed by the leak of documents from the CRU). I note that Galileo was not mainstream and was persecuted by the establishment for promoting a theory that was actually centuries old: that the sun is the centre of our solar system and earth orbits it. Suppression of speech is common by neo-Marxists today (who I find climate catastrophists are – check their economic beliefs).

        It has been well known for centuries that earth’s orbit varies under gravitational influence of other planets. That and some other known factors vary the amount of energy reaching earth from the sun. An obvious cause of fluctuation in climate temperature.

        • The first article is an over-simplified statement of the saturation effect.

          The second article uses very questionable theoretical calculations called ‘models’ and omits actual temperature measurements from reliable sources. (Standard thermometer measurements are suspect, including from the urban heating effect which is not fully compensated for, sparse grid in some areas like oceans (ship sensors were not intended for that use), etc.)


    • Airbus and Boeing are mostly concerned with Government Relations over anything else. Comparing them to their Cold War selves and the Soviet plane companies would likely make for some fascinating reading.