Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2010 Contents 18 AsianAviation | OCTOBER 2010
tonne of fuel saved equates to a 3.15 tonnes cut in
CO2 emissions, notes ATAG.
Aircra engines play the most important role in
determining fuel e ciency, noted ATAG. e high-
bypass ratio engine, for example, since the 1970s, has
delivered a quantum increase in power and a dramatic
drop in noise, the guide said. Jet engine e ciency has
improved at an average of 1 percent a year, which means
that engines available in 2020 are likely to be at least
10 percent more e cient than those designed today.
Advanced high-bypass turbofans, geared turbofans
and open-rotor engine developments underway today
are all likely to enable this improvement.
Advanced high-bypass turbofans, set to enter ser vice
by 2016, can provide up to 16 percent lower fuel-
consumption compared with today's engines and a
75 percent reduction in the noise footprint. New-
generation geared turbofans for narrowbody aircra ,
set for ser vice entry in 2013, will o er a 15 to 20
percent improvement in e ciency, while open-rotor
engines, which could enter ser vice by 2020, are aiming
for 25-30 percent improvements in fuel e ciency over
e best way for an airline to boost fuel e ciency is
to modernise its eet, ATAG said, with today's aircra
being around 80 percent more e cient than those
from the 1960s. Airlines are doing just that, with the
global industry set to spend US$1.3 trillion on 12,000
new aircra over the next 10 years, according to IATA's
"Each of these will be 20-25 percent more fuel
e cient than their predecessors," he said.
e development of the Boeing 737, for example, is
a good illustration of how much more e cient today's
aircra have become.
When the 737 entered service in 1967, it could
carry 124 passengers over a distance of 2,775km, with
a total payload of 12,701kg. e latest-generation 737,
the 737-800, can carry 48 percent more passengers 119
percent further, with a 67 percent increase in payload,
while burning 23 percent less fuel -- or 48
percent less on a per-seat basis.
Boeing has identified further
performance enhancements with the
next-generation 737, designed to
improve fuel e ciency by a further 2
percent. A gain of 1 percent will come
from structural improvements that will
reduce aerodynamic drag , while changes
to the CFM International engines will
contribute a further 1 percent, Boeing
said. Deliveries of 737s featuring these
improvements are set to begin next year.
Wing design has contributed
signi cantly to improved aerodynamics
and ultimately fuel consumption. Modi cations such
as blended winglets, wingtip fences and raked wingtips,
have delivered a 3 to 5 percent reduction in fuel burn,
depending on the length of the ight and the type of
the aircra , ATAG said.
Manufacturers have also sought to cut weight by
reducing electrical wires and pneumatic cabling. Seat-
back mounted in- ight entertainment (IFE) systems,
for example, added hundreds of metres of wiring to
an aircra , but IFE manufacturers are now focusing
on reducing the weight of their systems. Panasonic
Avionics and ales, for example, are developing
integrated seat-IFE systems that reduce the number of
line-replaceable units by up to 75 percent and promise
signi cant weight and power-consumption reductions
compared with traditional systems.
Aircra are getting lighter in every area, thanks in part
to the use of advanced materials such as composites in
airframes. e Airbus A380, A350, Boeing 787 and
Bombardier CSeries all rely heavily on such materials.
Thanks to its composite fuselage and wings, for
example, Boeing's 787 is designed to be 20 percent
more fuel e cient than today's aircra of a comparable
Manufacturers are looking at every interior
component as a weight-saving opportunity, with
panels, galleys and seats all being slimmed down.
Airbus, for example, has been working on its Space
Innovative Catering Equipment (SPICE) galley
concept for a number of years. SPICE can save around
600kg of weight compared with a typical galley
installation on a widebody today, according to the
Weight reduction is also a major focus among seat
manufacturers, with Recaro Aircraft Seating, for
example, claiming the lightest economy-class seat
in the market with its Smart Line 3510, coming in
at 9.1kg -- more than 5kg lighter than conventional
seats. e weight-saving , which is attributed to the
use of innovative materials, equates to a 1,700 tonne
reduction in fuel burn per annum and a 5,200 tonne
reduction in CO2 emissions per annum, according to
launch customer Air France.
New-generation paints and coatings, weighing 10 to
20 percent less than those used today, are also under
development, notes ATAG. e guide highlights the
example of one unnamed airline which saved 136kg
of paint per aircra when it used a new paint process
that required two rather than the typical three coats
Regular inspections of airframe paint and coatings
can also make a contribution -- around 0.5 percent
in annual fuel consumption, according to ATAG.
Washing an aircra and engines regularly to remove
weight and drag is also being deployed by many
airlines, with one engine wash ser vice reported to
reduce engine fuel burn by as much as 1.2 percent
and decrease exhaust gas temperature by as much as
15 degrees C -- boosting performance and reducing
Zonal driers above the ceiling or under the oor
in aircra are also reducing weight, by eliminating
moisture trapped in the insulation blankets between
the aircra outer skin and cabin lining. According to
zonal drying system manufacturer CTT Systems, as
each passenger exhales around 100g of water an hour,
condensation can increase an aircra 's weight by over
half a ton, depending on the number of passengers,
type of operation and climate zone. ATAG says one
airline has calculated that it will save nearly two million
litres of fuel a year across its 42-strong eet through the
use of such devices.
Airlines are constantly looking at new ways to reduce
the weight of their aircra , including using lighter
cutlery and crockery, replacing in- ight magazines
with digital versions, removing hot-meal ser vice and
ovens and matching the amount of drinking water
carried to the number of passengers.
When one airline introduced a new beverage cart
that was 9kg lighter than the previous model, for
example, it estimated it would save US$500,000 in
annual fuel costs across the eet, while another airline
cut annual fuel consumption by 0.09 percent through
carrying the right amount of water required.
While every little bit helps when it comes to
weight-saving, other areas have far greater potential
when it comes to improving the e ciency of airline
operations. It is estimated, for example, that up to 8
percent of all aviation fuel is wasted as a result of the
ine cient routes aircra have to y. us, air tra c
management (ATM) has a major role to play in
boosting e ciency.
e Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
believes that ATM improvements have the potential
to yield a 6-12 percent reduction in emissions.
Projects are under way worldwide to research, cultivate
and commercialise sustainable biomass sources.
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