Less Noise, Less Fuel

DLR research aircraft Airbus A320 ATRA. Image: DLR

Two new research projects of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) aim to achieve less noise and lower fuel consumption.
Two research projects that the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Environment & Community Center (UNH) presented in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt on 24 November are aimed at reducing aircraft noise over residential areas.
On behalf of the UNH, a subsidiary of the state of Hesse, the DLR is expected to test a pilot assistance system called LNAS (Low Noise Augmentation System) with the A320 ATRA research aircraft during regular operations at Frankfurt airport in the summer of 2016). The system is supposed to offer a noise-optimized approach procedure. The researchers wish to find out the impact of fluctuating influences on the new assistance system and how commercial pilots react to it. Pilots of various airlines will, therefore, take a seat next to a DLR test pilot in the cockpit of the ATRA one after another and fly approaches to Frankfurt.

New approach procedures could save five to eight percent fuel
The second research project presented involves the expansion of noise-reducing approach routes. Even today, it is already possible to divert air traffic around densely populated regions in traffic-free off-peak times. Dr. Bern from the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance  stated: “With these landings, pilots turn towards the runway relatively late in the direct approach. ” This is said to enable greater flexibility with regard to routing and thus a reduction in noise over densely populated areas. However, during the landing, the most labor-intensive stage of the flight, it is often hard for pilots to choose the best time for extending the flaps and the landing gear so that part of the landing phase can fully take place in the particularly silent and fuel-saving idling mode, taking the prescribed speeds into account.  (According to Dr. Born, the new approach procedures could save between five and eight percent fuel per approach and aircraft.)

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