TRINITY engineers are helping design an aircraft that could reduce noise pollution and decrease our carbon footprint.
The engineers from the college’s School of Engineering have been chosen to lead a third EU consortium in a collaborative project which aims to make a greener, quieter aircraft.
This third project, ‘ARTIC’ – being developed in Europe – is worth €1.4 million. Its developers want to make a novel, quieter landing gear system for the next generation aircraft.
The engineers will work alongside EU industry partners like aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, SME’s and researchers from other EU institutes and universities.
ARTIC will be developed as part of the Clean Sky initiative, a public private partnership between the European Commission and the Aeronautical Industry.
Clean Sky seeks to change the way aeroplane manufacturers design and develop new equipment in response to their damaging environmental impact.
In excess of two billion people use air transport each year, and although the carbon emissions only amount to around two per cent of the total man-made emissions, this is set to increase to three per cent by 2050.
In addition, noise pollution is a growing concern with increased flight traffic affecting hundreds of thousands of people living near major airports and frequently used flight paths.Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity, Dr Gareth J. Bennett, is the coordinator of all three projects including ARTIC.
He said: ‘The standard plane we hop on to fly to Paris is fuel-inefficient for such a short-haul distance. In addition, the fuel and noise emissions into our environment need to be reduced. The Clean Sky Partnership will result in a replacement aircraft design which will be significantly greener, and it will happen soon.’
ARTIC and its sister projects WENEMOR and ALLEGRA – all three projects are coordinated by Trinity – will contribute directly to the overarching Green Regional Aircraft (GRA) EU programme, directed by Alenia Aermacchi.
The programme will result in the GRA being the most commonly used aircraft in Europe in the next few years for short-haul trips, and will be used as the aircraft of choice by airlines, its creators believe.
GRA will be put through its paces in the largest wind tunnel in Europe , 20m high and located in Holland.
Dr John Kennedy, Research Fellow in Dr Bennett’s group, added: ‘Testing such a design at this scale has never been done before in Europe and the EU Aviation industry is eagerly awaiting our results. It is very exciting to be part of this project, which I’m sure will make a huge contribution to improving the sustainability of air transportation in the coming years.’