The “green” ATR Flying Demonstrator takes off

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The purpose of the flying demonstration is to test new and more effective composite insulating materials and the vibro-acoustic sensors integrated into a large crown panel of ATR forward fuselage section. The flights test the new generation of optical fibers for improved identification of micro-cracks and easier maintenance too.

The objective of such advanced technologies, developed by ATR’s shareholder Alenia Aermacchi, is to reduce the aircraft weight, fuel consumption, CO2 & NOx emissions and noise level.

The “green” ATR 72 prototype today made the first flight of the “Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (CS JTI)” test campaign. CS JTI is a measure adopted by the European Parliament to support the trend of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives in the field of research, with the aim of jointly developing a wide spectrum of  technologies devoted to a clean, innovative and competitive air transport system. The Clean Sky goal is to achieve major steps towards the ACARE Environmental Goals for 2020 when compared to 2000 levels: 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, 80% cut in NOx emissions and halving of noise pollution. The project is financed 50/50 by the aeronautical industry and by the European Union. 

ATR has been part of the project since it was created in 2008, playing the role of Associate to its Italian shareholder Alenia Aermacchi, the Coordinator of Green Regional Aircraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator, inside the CS JTI. Today’s flight is the first of all those planned for the initiative’s Projects. Later on, towards the end of the year, a second flight test campaign will be checking out improvements to the electrical distribution, energy dispersal and the air conditioning systems. The improvements being jointly developed and tested on the ATR today will eventually benefit all regional aircraft tomorrow.

Carmine Orsi, ATR’s Senior Vice-President Engineering was delighted by this first flight of the “Clean Sky” project. “The ATRs already enjoy a worldwide reputation for the low gas emissions due to its low fuel consumption and structural efficiency with large use of composite material on primary structures. Today, we are going further by using one of our aircraft to test the fruit of several years of joint work with the researchers, which should enable us to be even greener in the future”. He concluded, “As aircraft manufacturers, we have a real responsibility to develop increasingly green technologies, in particular given that in the coming years, more and more aircraft will be taking to the skies”.

Toulouse, July 8, 2015

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