Aviation in TransitionChallenges and Opportunities of LiberalisationThe Future of LiberalisationProfessor Ian PollDirector Cranfield College of Aeronautics
The Father of the Aeroplane Sir George Cayley (1773 – 1857)
Why was Cayley interested in flight? • He recognised that the industrial revolution needed transportation to bring raw materials to the factories and to take the products to market. • He saw clearly that road, rail and sea were limited. However transport by air would remove many of the limitations of the other modes and would bring huge economic benefits
Issues • After 100 years there is now a clear divergence of civil and military aviation. • Civil aircraft are now treated as commodities – airframe is no longer a major target for research • Technology is now just as important on the ground as it is in the air
The Drivers • Economy • Safety • Security • Environment “Cheaper, Safer and Cleaner”
Technology to reduce costs • Health and usage monitoring – only service the aircraft when absolutely necessary • New air traffic solutions – cut out waste • De-skilling piloting and ATM tasks – reduce cost of staff • Better use of IT to reduce cost of sales, links with supply chain etc • More efficient training methods
Technology to improve safety • Reduce piloting intervention – 80% of accidents involve human error • Use of virtual reality to overcome physical difficulties e.g. all round vision, poor weather visibility • ATM systems that separate aircraft rather than bunch them together • More effective training systems
Technology to improve security • Ability to screen for weapons and explosives • Internationally linked data bases for rapid identification of undesirable individuals • Designated “no go” areas built into flight control systems
Technology to protect the environment • Use of fuel cells to provide aircraft electrical power on the ground • Proper treatment of runoff water and better disposal of unpleasant substances both at the airport and in the manufacturing and disposal processes • Better multi-modal linking to reduce congestion
The real problem is at 35,000’ Growth rates of 5-6% will result in a 4 fold increase fuel burn in the next 25 years Can anyone believe that this could (or should) be allowed to happen?
My conclusion is that aviation, as we know it today, is probably non- sustainable. What is the path for future development?
BWB versus Conventional • With fully turbulent flow L/D better by up to 30% (better than a conventional aircraft with a laminar flow wing) • Fuel burn per passenger seat mile up 25% (needs bigger engine) • With laminar flow BWB has an L/D 4 times larger than a conventional a/c) These advantages are going to become hard to ignore
Conclusions • Technology has been used to solve many challenges over the past 50 years • Emerging technologies can solve many of today’s issues. They can help deliver the “new way” for aviation and they can produce new business opportunities for a liberalised industry • Most importantly, technology holds the key to the long term sustainability of civil aviation