Article | April 8, 2020
The aviation world is rapidly changing due to the current crisis, and no one is more affected than airframe builders like Boeing. With the Boeing 777X due to start service at the end of the year, has the crisis affected the new flagship aircraft’s development?Boeing is building a new generation of the popular widebody 777, much as it did with the narrowbody 737. This new version will have new technologies and new engineering, inspired in part by innovations built into the Boeing 787. These include bigger windows, a composite fuselage, and state-of-the-art cabins.
Article | April 7, 2020
To paint a picture of what corporate airfares will look like once planes return to the skies is becoming more difficult by the day — if not impossible. Airlines, for one, have more pressing matters to deal with as they fight for survival during the ongoing crisis. Most in the U.S. will be working through the fine print of the $2 trillion U.S. stimulus package that throws them a lifeline of $50 billion in grants and loans. Other carriers, particularly in Europe and Asia, have already downsized and furloughed most of their workforce and are now turning to refinancing. Cases in point include Air France-KLM, which is now looking for $6.5 billion in state-backed loans, while last week Singapore Airlines revealed it had secured $13 billion in new funding.
Article | May 12, 2021
Each year airlines begin new sustainability initiatives, experiment with biofuels, and offset their carbon emissions on selected flights; yet, sustainability should not only be a topic of discussion when an aircraft is in the air but also when it’s on the ground.
In just one year, a Boeing 777, 787, Airbus A330, and A350, burn an extra 265,000 litres of fuel due to the 1% increase in drag. As a result, a full year’s operations of such an aircraft costs US$77,600 more than during the previous year. A dirty aircraft exterior is full of microscopic patches of dust and mud that impact the airliner’s operational efficiency by creating turbulent airflow across the whole fuselage. While the problem of additional drag is not new, there are no solutions to combat it other than performing regular cleaning of the aircraft’s exterior.
Reducing drag – through cleaning – on aircraft fuselage, wings, engine cowlings, and stabilizer brings another challenge; how to remain sustainable while performing the exterior cleaning process? A popular, yet wasteful pressurized water cleaning technique requires more than 11,300 litres of water to clean one Airbus A380 aircraft and more than 9,500 litres to clean a Boeing 777. Traditionally, aircraft are cleaned four to five times per year, and with more than 48 thousand airframes in the world, the amount of water used each year is immense. As a result, the positives of clean fuselages are outweighed by the negatives of wasteful usage of expensive and environmentally important resources.
This raises a question: whether it is possible to be eco-friendly in the aviation industry when one solution brings even more challenges than benefits? While the answer may look complicated, the definite answer is yes. The use of robots in household applications has proven that robotification is an inevitable and much-needed process to achieve even more efficient operational performance.
One of the solutions to address the inefficient and time-consuming process of washing an aircraft fuselage is to employ an aircraft exterior cleaning robot. The market offerings like Nordic Dino, have been perfected and adapted to work with a wide range of aircraft fuselage types. Such robots are designed to minimize the use of water and detergent on every wash; saving more than 30% more water when compared to traditional washing methods. At the same time, built with sustainability in mind, the robots can be equipped with electric motors, further minimizing the environmental impact.
“Sustainability and eco-friendliness should not be viewed as challenges or impossible achievements in the aviation industry. By utilizing the right equipment, finding alternatives to polluting methods, and increasing efficiency at every step possible, companies could come one step closer to operational efficiency as well as sustainability targets. Our offering, Nordic Dino can reduce the use of water and detergent and can be powered by electricity, reducing carbon and nitrogen dioxide emissions. By the robotification of the cleaning process we present a solution to MROs and dedicated aircraft cleaning companies to become green.” – commented Jan Brunstedt, CEO of Aviator Robotics AB.
Article | March 3, 2020
With our 2020 predictions series wrapped up, one common theme we saw across different thought leaders was the increasing presence of inflight connectivity (IFC) in the aviation ecosystem. In addition to contributing to the passenger experience, IFC enables a more robust and higher value proposition to airlines for operating the aircraft. In recognition of this important theme, we captured a few industry news stories highlighting IFC’s growing influence in the aviation ecosystem in our latest roundup. Read below for more stories about how IFC is shaping the present and future of the aviation industry: Last month, Inmarsat announced that its GX Aviation solution reached the milestone of powering 1 million free inflight Wi-Fi sessions for Air New Zealand, approximately one year after the airline moved towards a free inflight Wi-Fi model.