Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 2. The problem to solve?

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 14, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Before we dig into the different alternatives we have for more Sustainable Air Transport, let’s look at the problem and its sources.

Figure 1 shows the emissions of CO2 per person since 1900 and the rise of the world temperature. The increase in world temperature changes the weather, with increased weather-related emergencies in recent years.

Figure 1. The increase in CO2 emission per capita and the rise of the world temperature from 1900 to 2018. Source: Wikipedia.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 1. A deeper look.

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 7, 2021, ©. Leeham News: We finished a 34 article series before Christmas about the enormous work involved to get a new aircraft certified for passenger transport.

It was a background article series to the one we start now, a deeper series on what’s involved in designing air transport vehicles that are less polluting for our environment. We have seen a landslide of such projects in the last years, and from an experienced aircraft designer’s desk, most of these are doomed for failure.

Figure 1. The Embraer Energia concept aircraft. A credible Sustainable Air Transport research program. Source: Embraer.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 20. Production site and facilities

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca

September 10, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at the Rig design and manufacture for ground and flight testing. 

We are now at the stage in our program (Figure 1) where we shall have scouted and deliberated over our Final Assembly production site (Violet bars). We now need to decide on the site and what facilities we need to build and/or hire.

Figure 1. The program plan for our project. Source: Leeham Co.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 19. Test rigs for ground and air use

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca

September 3, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at the Certification Compliance Planning we do concurrently with Detailed Design, Figure 1.

It’s now time for us to work on our Test rigs and systems for ground and flight testing. We need to get these defined before we freeze the aircraft’s configuration and start making our flight test aircraft.

Figure 1. The program plan for our project. Source: Leeham Co.

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Sustainable Aero Lab disqualifies “Greenwash” investments

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 25, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Times change and the use of words with it. Today, the hundreds of UAM Air Taxi projects talk about how “environmentally friendly” this mode of transportation is, and Boom’s Overture is “the most Sustainable supersonic airliner.” The aerospace media recently focused on how we now have “Space Travel for everyone (in possession of the necessary pocket change).”

The head of Sustainable Aero Lab, Stephan Uhrenbacher, disqualifies these investments in a study on where to invest in fixing air transport’s pressing problems: “The startups receiving the most attention in aerospace recently have been doing space travel and urban air taxis. While these products make for exiting flying objects and satisfy human desire, neither air taxis nor putting more people in space address the problem facing commercial aviation: Flying needs to become carbon-free. And this needs to happen much faster than most people in the industry believe. It opens room for startups to provide components for future aircraft or even entire planes, but also new modes of operation.”

Figure 1. The promising Sustainable Aviation startups. Source: Sustainable Aero Lab.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 17. Detailed design

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

August 20, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through our second Design Refinement and how our Processes and Tools must be mature because the next step in the Post Launch phase is Detailed Design.

If the previous phases were about research and inspirational design work, where we measured, collated, and documented the overall design data for the aircraft, Detail Design is about a massive amount of work packages and execution.

Figure 1. The Design of wing structure in CATIA 5. Source: Youtube channel: Magic of Design Software.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 16. Post Launch.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

August 13, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through the Certification Application, one of the most important milestones in the Pre-Launch phase.

Now we assume we got a Product Launch approval from our board/Investors. We start looking at the work packages that meet us in the Post Launch phase.

Figure 1. The Program Plan for our Green 19 seater. Source: Leeham Co. Click to see in full scale.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 14. The ATO.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

July 30, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through the later tasks in the Prelaunch Phase. We talked about Concept refinement, Supplier selection, and Certification work.

Now we dig deeper into the important Authorization To Offer (ATO) milestone. This is where the project starts to promise stuff to customers and others, and it can be both good and bad.

Figure 1. The Program Plan for our Green 19 seater. Source: Leeham Co. Click to see in full scale.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 13. Later in the Prelaunch Phase

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

July 23, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through the initial tasks in the Prelaunch Phase. We talked about Sales and Marketing activities, initial Concept development, and first Supplier contacts.

Now that time has passed, we are three quarters into our Program Plan (Figure 2), and we have to refine our Concept, select Suppliers, and dig deep into how to get Certification.

Figure 1. Windtunnel test of a half model of the wing and high lift devices. Source: ONERA.

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De-carbonisation of air transport is ON

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 20, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week was a game-changing week for air transport. Three events synchronized to trigger it.

EU presented 13 policies to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with concrete steps in-between. On the same day, the airframe and engine OEM’s CTOs said in a Farnborough Connect webcast: “It’s a commitment problem, not a technical problem to achieve the EU goals.”

This happened against a backdrop of European floodings, which made all discussions about climate change or not moot. Super-organized Germany lost over 100 persons to typhoon like rains, never seen before, that produced scenes like these: https://twitter.com/Aviation_Intel/status/1416215953080205321?s=20

Figure 1. Farnborough Connect, from top-left: Moderator Johnson, Boeing’s Hussein, GE’s Lorence, Rolls-Royce’s Stein, SAFRAN’s Dalbier, Raytheon Technologies’  Russel, and Airbus’ Klauke.

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