Airbus Tests Eco-Tech With Bluecopter


Airbus recently debuted its Bluecopter technology demonstrator, with a public demo at its facility in Donauworth, Germany. The aircraft already has logged more than 28 hours, testing out new technologies that aim to improve fuel efficiency and the ability to fly quietly. “With Bluecopter, we have met our goals of decreasing fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent, significantly reducing CO2 emissions, and lowering noise to approximately 10 decibel effective perceived noise (EPNdB) below ICAO noise certification limits, while raising the maximum payload and the passenger comfort,” said Marius Bebesel, the Airbus program manager for research and innovation.

The Bluecopter also is being used to further evolve the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail-rotor, helping to develop performance improvements through optimized blade and stator designs. An acoustic liner integrated in the Fenestron’s shroud and the active rudder on the tail fin contribute as well to the reduced noise footprint. To reduce fuel consumption, the Bluecopter can be switched to “eco-mode” during cruise, by shutting down one engine. The remaining engine operates more efficiently and the fuel consumption is drastically reduced. The eco mode is based on an automatic control system that assists the crew and ensures safe operation of the aircraft.