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An ATR “green” aircraft has made its first flight as part of Europe’s Clean Sky initiative.
The Clean Sky Green Regional Aircraft Flying Demonstrator took off from Toulouse, France, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and returned two hours later.
ATR said the purpose was to test new and more effective composite insulating materials and sensors integrated into a panel of the airplane’s forward fuselage section.
The flight also tested new generation of optical fibres for improved identification of micro-cracks, the company added.
“The objective of such advanced technologies is to reduce the aircraft weight, fuel consumption, emissions and noise level.”
ATR has been part of the project financed by the aeronautical industry and by the European Union since its launch in 2008. The aim is to reduce emissions and noise pollution by half by 2020 from 2000 levels.
“Today’s successful flight shows the real progress accomplished in introducing large pieces of innovative materials in regional aircraft,” said Eric Dautriat, executive director of Clean Sky.
“The outcome opens the door to further improvement to the environmentally friendly planes people expect.”
A second flight, planned for later this year, will check out improvements to the electrical distribution, energy dispersal and the air conditioning systems.
ATR is jointly owned by Airbus Group and Alenia Aermacchi of Europe. It has sold more than 1,500 aircraft to 190 airlines.
Images are courtesy of ATR and Clean Sky.