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15 July 2014
15. July 2014 Commercial Aircraft

Eco-design: Airbus is designing with the environment in mind

Airbus’ A380 and A350 XWB were highlights of the Farnborough International Airshow’s Day 2 flight presentations

With Airbus’ environmental policy, the company’s philosophy literally starts at the beginning.

Environmental factors increasingly are taken into account in designing Airbus its aircraft – a plan driven by its commitment to the environment and a compelling business case. 
This philosophy is on full display this week at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow – with the presence of such jetliners as a Sharklet-equipped A320, the next generation A350 XWB and the double-deck A380 jetliner – along with the launch of the A330neo (new engine option). These aircraft all deliver significant fuel-burn reduction compared to previous aircraft, saving operators money while also benefitting the environment with lower carbon emissions.  
“The hardest thing about aircraft design is that everything involves trade-offs,” said Gael Sarrieu, who leads Airbus’ lifecycle analysis, citing the importance of weight when considering a new aircraft system. “Everyone has been familiar with that consideration for a long time, but now we’re giving the same thought to all areas.”
For example, Sarrieu explained that noise used to be less of a concern for designers compared to efficiency but it is of increasing importance for customers who want to operate at some of the world’s busiest airports. As a result, Airbus products – such as the A380, A350 XWB and A320neo – are designed to be quieter than required by worldwide noise regulations.
“Airbus designers now understand that the whole lifecycle, right through to recycling and re-using, matters to our customers,” said Sarrieu. “We aren’t trying to start a revolution – we’re just trying to do good business!”
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