Researchers at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering have been selected to lead an EU consortium in the design of a futuristic aircraft that produces less noise pollution and carbon footprint.
The School of Engineering is currently coordinating three EU projects that have a combined budget of €5.4m to improve the way people fly in Europe.
The latest project called ARTIC is worth €1.4m and is focused on the development of a novel, quieter landing gear system for the next generation “greener” aircraft.
Collaborating with the Trinity researchers on the project is aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi along with SMEs and researchers from other EU institutes.
ARTIC falls under an EU FP7 public proviate partnership called Clean Sky.
Clean Sky was set up with sustainable development in mind, and associated projects seek to bring significant changes to the way aeroplane manufacturers design and develop new equipment in response to their damaging environmental impact.
In excess of 2 billion people use air transport each year, and although the carbon emissions only amount to around 2% of the total man-made emissions, this is set to increase to 3%by 2050.
In addition, noise pollution is a growing concern with increased flight traffic affecting hundreds of thousands of people living near major airports and frequently used flight paths.
“The standard plane we hop on to fly to Paris is fuel-inefficient for such a short-haul distance,” explained Dr Gareth Bennett, assistant Professor in mechanical and manufacturing engineering at Trinity College who will be leading the project.
“In addition, the fuel and noise emissions into our environment need to be reduced. The Clean Sky Partnership will result in a replacement aircraft design which will be significantly greener, and it will happen soon.”