Article | February 11, 2020
The Airbus A220 isn’t really a new aircraft. Bombardier first flew the CSeries in September 2013, with its entry into service in July 2016. And yet, the A220 seems to be answering problems that we’re not quite having yet. Airbus predicts a need for 7,000 A220s over the next two decades, and that’s probably not too overoptimistic. Here’s how the A220 is the plane of the future, today. The landscape of aviation is changing. In the past, airlines operated on hub and spoke models, passengers were happy to fit around schedules and the price of jet fuel was so low that efficiency wasn’t a huge consideration. Clearly, aviation today is very different.
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 | February 19, 2020
Frankfurt-based Condor has been going through some changes lately. Until recently, the airline operated under the Thomas Cook umbrella. Following their bankruptcy last year, ownership of Condor passed to the Polish Aviation Group, owner of LOT Polish Airlines. This has set the scene for some decision-making at the 65-year-old airline. Chief amongst the decision making is what to do about Condor’s fleet of aging long-haul aircraft.
Article | April 9, 2020
As we begin to hit what would be the peak season toward the middle of spring and start of summer, instead of reading stories of holiday go-ers preparing for their next big escape, we’re instead reading stories of two huge industries that may suffer huge losses following the coronavirus pandemic. As it currently stands, all major cruise lines have had major disruptions to their services as they’re forced to lay off thousands of workers indefinitely whilst ports to many countries remain closed for the foreseeable future - the first big disruption to the industry since 9/11. And whilst the extended period of time in which services aren’t running for, the issues that the cruise liners may suffer from most could be a damaged reputation following the spread of infections amongst a number of ships. With many different people from many different countries all coming together in one confined space, it allowed the virus to spread very quickly in some instances, such as the Diamond Princess, reporting over 700 confirmed cases .