Airbus made headlines during this week’s ILA Berlin with key developments spanning the company’s military, civil, air mobility and cybersecurity businesses – led by a landmark contract for Spain’s acquisition of 20 latest-generation Eurofighter combat aircraft.

 

ILA Berlin was the first major European air show since 2019, and this event enabled Airbus to underscore how it pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. It had a full range of aircraft on static display and in the flight demonstrations, as well as at the indoor exhibits at Berlin ExpoCenter Airport.

Topping the ILA Berlin news was Spain’s order for a fleet of E-Scan (electronically scanned) radar-equipped Eurofighters to replace F-18s operated by the Spanish Air Force from Gando Air Base on the Canary Islands. With deliveries to begin in 2026, these new single- and twin-seat combat aircraft will increase the Spanish Air Force’s overall inventory to 90 Eurofighters, positioning it among NATO allies with the most modern fighter jet developed in Europe.

Amparo Valcarce, secretary of Defence of Spain with Michael Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Defence and Space and Alberto Gutiérrez, President of Airbus in Spain, among other personalities during the signature of Eurofighter HALCON - ILA Berlin Air Show 2022

Amparo Valcarce, secretary of Defence of Spain with Michael Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Defence and Space and Alberto Gutiérrez, President of Airbus in Spain, among other personalities during the signature of Eurofighter HALCON - ILA Berlin Air Show 2022

 

Initiatives, partnerships for sustainability and mobility

Six other announcements at ILA Berlin spotlighted Airbus’ efforts to move the aviation industry’s goals forward for aviation sustainability and advanced air mobility, with the company undertaking an increasingly diverse range of initiatives and lining up key partnerships.

This includes Airbus support for the German Air Force’s start-up of future flight trials using A400M multi-role airlifters powered by up to 50 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Looking further ahead, the goal is to enable the German Air Force’s entire fleet of Airbus-built aircraft – from airlifters and VIP transports to fighter jets – to operate on SAF, which is a proven alternative fuel that can reduce life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 85 percent compared to conventional fuel.

In addition to supporting such near-term activities at the national level, Airbus has embarked on a long-term roadmap towards achieving 100 percent SAF readiness and certification for the various countries operating A400Ms.

Airbus’ A400M is the most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available today; its operators include the German Air Force, with one of this military services’ aircraft on display at the 2022 Berlin Air show

A400M on static display – ILA Berlin air show 2022

 

A world’s first helicopter flight with sustainable aviation fuel

Another development announced during ILA Berlin was the first ever helicopter flight performed with 100 percent SAF that powered both Safran Makila 2 engines on an H225 rotorcraft.  Such tests are expected to continue on other helicopter types with different fuel and engine architectures, with a view to certifying the use of 100 percent SAF by 2030.

In focusing on the ground segment aspect of future aviation sustainability, Airbus and the Linde industrial gases and engineering company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop hydrogen infrastructure at airports worldwide. They will define and launch pilot projects at several airports from early 2023 onwards, while also analysing the potential of Power-to-Liquid fuels - a type of SAF made from the synthetically-produced liquid hydrocarbon through the conversion of renewable electricity.

Exhibited at the ILA Berlin air show is the H225 – Airbus’ latest member of its proven Super Puma/Cougar family, which has accumulated more than 5.8 million flight hours during operations around the world

H225 at the ILA Berlin air show 2022

 

Driving the sustainable deployment of advanced air mobility solutions

Also at ILA Berlin, Airbus and Munich Airport International signed an MoU to start marketing turnkey solutions for cities and regions interested in developing advanced air mobility (AAM) ecosystems globally. The successful integration of different AAM elements – including Airbus’ CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft – requires a strong cooperation between global and local stakeholders combining key competencies, including partners such as Munich Airport.

Additionally, Airbus unveiled a partnership with KLK Motorsport and Modell- und Formenbau Blasius Gerg GmbH to design, develop and manufacture CityAirbus NextGen’s rear structure. They will work together to develop an ultra-lightweight rear fuselage based on high-end composite solutions and components – mutually benefitting from each of their competencies in design engineering and manufacturing processes.

Airbus’ major presence at the ILA Berlin air show includes its primary exhibit stand in Hall 4, with such scale models as the ZEROe hybrid-hydrogen aircraft, CityAirbus NextGen multicopter, C295 Flight Test Bed 2 for Clean Sky 2 and A321XLR; along with the H160M, H225M and H145M helicopters; as well as Eurostar Neo and OneWeb satellites

ILA Air Show 2022 - CityAirbus NextGen multicopter

 

An A321LR delivery to the German armed forces

A delivery ceremony at ILA Berlin marked the handover of the first of two A321LR (Long Range) aircraft for the German armed forces. It was reconfigured from the commercial version by Lufthansa Technik AG for flexible troop and passenger transport – as well as parliamentary flight operations – on short-, medium- and long-haul routes. Lufthansa Technik also made preparations for the aircraft’s medical evacuation role, which will expand its scope of operations to include the transport of wounded, injured and ill passengers as a flying intensive care unit.

"Together with our partner Lufthansa Technik, we have worked to ensure this aircraft meets all expectations," explained Guillaume Faury, the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus. "The A321LR not only flies longer routes than ever, it also delivers a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to previous-generation aircraft and is certified to run on 50 percent sustainable aviation fuels, which can reduce emissions even further."

Lufthansa Technik AG, as prime contractor, today handed over the first of two Airbus A321LR (Long Range) troop transports to the German armed forces at the ILA Berlin airshow. In the presence of Lufthansa Technik COO Soeren Stark and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, the State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defense, Benedikt Zimmer, and the German Air Chief, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, formally took delivery of the aircraft with the tactical registration 15+10.

ILA Berlin air show 2022 - Lufthansa Technik hands over first Airbus A321LR to the German armed forces

 

Six H145Ms ordered for the Cypriot National Guard 

With the H145M battlefield support helicopter displayed at ILA Berlin, the air show was a highly appropriate venue for Airbus’ contract announcement for six of these rotorcraft to be operated by the Cypriot National Guard. The order, from the Government of Cyprus, is for the H145M version with a six-blade main rotor – and includes options for another six.

The agreement will provide the Cypriot National Guard with a cost-effective and high-performance helicopter that addresses many of the future challenges for light attack helicopter fleets, delivering rapid response, firepower and precision, along with providing effective combat support and acquiring critical information.

Derived from the civilian H145, the latest version of Airbus Helicopters’ H145M features a new, innovative five-blade main rotor that increases the rotorcraft’s payload by 150 kg., with its bearingless design simplifying maintenance operations.

H145M LUH SOF - Bundeswehr at ILA airshow

 

An innovation hub for cybersecurity and artificial intelligence

A key step in Airbus’ strategy to continue strengthening its cybersecurity capabilities and expertise was taken at ILA Berlin through an MoU signing with the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security. This agreement will lead to the opening of a center of excellence for cybersecurity and trustworthy artificial intelligence in Saarland, Germany.

To be located at the CISPA Innovation Campus, the "CISPA-Airbus Digital Innovation Hub" will start operations in 2022. The intention is to grow its operation to approximately 100 experts within the next three years – ultimately expanding to more than 500 experts.

 

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