From biofuels to bluecopter®

EADS showcases future eco-friendly technologies at the 2010 Berlin Air Show.

4 June 2010

EADS’ presence at next week’s Berlin Air Show will highlight some of its extensive research efforts to further reduce the aviation sector’s impact on the environment.

A full-scale model of a conceptual helicopter with a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system will showcase the EADS Innovation Works’ research in eco-efficient propulsion system solutions for future small rotary-wing aircraft. Fuel consumption – and therefore emissions – can be considerably reduced by such a hybrid propulsion approach.

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The diesel-electric hybrid propulsion helicopter concept is one of the eco-friendly solutions being evaluated by EADS for rotary-wing aircraft.

The exhibit of this EADS Innovation Works concept at the Berlin Air Show will be complemented by selected displays of Eurocopter’s environmentally friendly bluecopter® technologies. These include the revolutionary Blue Edge main rotor blade, which provides a passive reduction in noise levels by using a double-swept shape that is very different from present-day blades. A piezo-active rotor control system called Blue Pulse has the primary objective of reducing noise levels generated by the interference of the rotor blade tip vortices from one rotor blade with the following blades.

EADS Innovation Works’ presence at the Berlin Air Show also will demonstrate how biofuel can be made from algae, using a containerized photo-bioreactor from IGV GmbH as an example for an advanced algae cultivation system. Another exhibit explains the process chain from live algae fed with carbon dioxide through harvesting, drying, oil extraction and refining to the biofuel used by future aircraft.

Research at EADS shows that all necessary technologies are now known for the production of biofuel from algae, but further development is required to achieve economies of scale at the industrial production level. Therefore, EADS is working with partners on a pilot project to develop the necessary industrial infrastructure.

The 2010 Berlin Air Show is being held June 8 to 13 at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport.