Airbus has made environmental history once again with the first-ever “Perfect Flight” across North America, which successfully combined several company-backed initiatives and procedures for the most eco-efficient air travel possible. As a leading aircraft manufacturer, the company believes flying more efficiently – with incorporation of all best practices available – can reduce a flight’s environmental footprint to a minimum.
This milestone activity follows the initial “Perfect Flight” performed last year in France, and today’s trip – utilising an Airbus A319 jetliner from Air Canada – travelled from Toronto to Mexico City. It was powered by a 50 per cent bio-fuel blend made from used cooking oil, supplied by the SkyNRG organisation.
Airbus is pioneering the introduction of sustainable alternative fuels, which will make a major impact on aviation CO2 emissions. Its efforts include supporting airlines to implement related projects, providing decision-makers with relevant biofuel data, developing research programmes in collaboration with universities, and supporting the regulatory approval process for new biofuels.
Streamlined air traffic management (ATM) procedures ensured the A319 flew the most direct route from Toronto to Mexico City, while an efficient vertical flight profile and use of Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) into the destination area reduced fuel consumption and limited noise emissions.
The activity’s eco-efficient operational procedures also included weight-saving measures deployed throughout the jetliner cabin, with the use of lighter materials for interior elements; as well as optimised ground operations that include single-engine taxiing and external cleaning for improved aerodynamics.
Contributing as well to the “Perfect Flight’s” environmental performance was the A319 itself, as part of the most eco-efficient aircraft product line in its market segment – Airbus’ best-selling A320 Family, which also includes the 100-seat A318, baseline A320 and its longest-fuselage member, the A321.
Today’s successful “Perfect Flight” is to be followed by additional demonstrations planned for later in 2012.