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German Aviation Industry’s Zero-Emission Vision

Germany's aviation industry foresees research in a zero-emission future as a way out of current industry crisis.

Energy transition in aviation

Zero emission flying will be possible by the middle of the century according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI). In a white paper presented to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the current state of research and technological fields of action necessary for zero-emission air transportation are summarized for the first time.

The “Zero Emissions Aviation” white paper envisions a diverse technology mix alongside extensive developments in sustainable fuels, new configurations, battery and fuel cell technology as well as hybrid propulsion solutions and new gas turbine concepts. Close cooperation between actors from science, industry and government is necessary if zero-emission air transportation is to be realized by 2050 according to the report.

“Green” aviation deal

The path to emission-free flying represents a “green” aviation deal according to the white paper authors, and one that will bolster Germany’s economy through the creation of new technologies, jobs, products and services. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a major economic crisis for the sector, with the collapse of global air traffic creating significant problems for manufacturers and suppliers alike. According to the BDLI, emission-free aviation represents a major opportunity for the industry, with almost 90 percent of research and development efforts already being directed at reducing emissions.

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