Climate neutrality by 2050 is an objective enshrined by the first European Climate law. In that frame, the European aviation sector needs to pave the way toward sustainable skies and establish new standards of safety, reliability, and affordability on a global scale. According to Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) objective, this transformational change demands novel solutions, in the aeronautics disciplines, leading to ambitious zero- and low-emission technologies including:
- Hybrid-electric solutions for regional and short-range flights
- Ultra-efficient aircraft designs enabling the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
Apart from novel hybrid electric power architectures and maturing technologies, the emission targets per segment, for regional aircraft, are also of paramount importance and expected to mark the European Sustainable Aviation Roadmap. More specifically, it is anticipated that the benefit will be a 50% fuel burn reduction, at the aircraft (A/C) level, and a 90% net reduction, in total, including the fuel effect.
The overall challenge is to demonstrate a regional aircraft with technologies mature enough to be launched by 2035. This aircraft should incorporate hybrid-electric propulsion, supported by 100% drop-in fuels or hydrogen, to reach up to 90% lower emissions.