Low-cost flights from Germany set a new record in the winter half-year 2018/2019. For the first time, there were 5325 low-cost airline flights per week, which represents a 10 percent increase from the previous year. The market has now almost settled down following the withdrawal of Air Berlin.
This year's Colloquium on Production Technology, held at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) site in Augsburg, coincided with a special occasion. The DLR Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology (Zentrum für Leichtbauproduktionstechnologie; ZLP) celebrated its tenth anniversary on 15 May 2019.
Parcel-delivery drones, air taxis and uncrewed inspection aircraft will to fly over cities and interact with one another in the future. They must be able to recognise and avoid one another, ideally before even taking off. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and its partners in the City Air Traffic Management (City-ATM) project conducted successful flight tests around the Köhlbrand Bridge in late April 2019 to demonstrate how drones are already able to cooperate with one another, as demonstrated by flying around a bridge, amid active shipping and road traffic.
Radically reduce the energy consumption of an aircraft. Last year, a four-member team of students from Munich demonstrated how this could be achieved with the 'eRay' Aircraft Concept and, in doing so, revealed the creative potential of the younger generation in the DLR/NASA Design Challenge.
Electric flight opens up a new dimension in aviation and offers unprecedented opportunities for sustainable mobility in the future. A growing number of projects in both research institutions and industry are investigating how electric – and thus emission-free and low-noise – aircraft concepts can be implemented and which application scenarios are the most promising.
At the end of March 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Falcon research aircraft will be taking off for what will be a world first in aviation. For the first time, a prototype of the new digital aeronautical radio standard LDACS (L-band Digital Aeronautical Communications System) will be tested. In future, this will enable secure and efficient data exchange between air traffic control centres and flight decks, up to and including 4D trajectories.
Aviation is not only responsible for carbon dioxide emissions; it also causes other emissions that have an impact on climate change, in particular soot particles. These are produced both on the ground and at cruising altitudes, where they act as condensation nuclei for ice crystals and lead to the formation of contrails, which may linger in the sky as contrail cirrus clouds.
Air traffic will continue to grow in the coming years, increasing the workload of air traffic controllers. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have been examining what would happen if controllers viewed airspace as a whole, rather than continuing the current practice of dividing it into small areas known as 'sectors'.
The HEDELA (HElicopter DEck Landing Assistance) project is aimed at investigating, evaluating and improving maritime helicopter missions. It is a joint effort by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Fuhlendorf flight squadron of the German Federal Police. The project started in March 2019.
As part of JEC World 2019, the leading European trade fair for fibre-composite technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is presenting its current research projects from 12 to 14 March 2019 in Paris.
Since the invention of the Remote Tower concept by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2002, the idea has made great progress and is now being used for remote air traffic control, initially at small airports in Sweden and Germany.
On 14 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) presented some of its planned research and management activities for 2019 at its annual press conference in Berlin. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board addressed the challenges and goals for the coming year.
The onset of winter at the airport – heavy snowfall is forecast, so restricted operations can be expected for several hours. To ensure that the processes continue to run smoothly even during severe weather events in winter, close coordination and cooperation between all key players at the airport are essential.
Winter has arrived, and aircraft are suffering in the biting cold. As is the case with cars, ice can form on aircraft flight deck windows and flight instrument sensors. The wings are also among the critical points of aircraft, and icing can lead to significant aerodynamic penalties.
Fewer soot particles in the exhaust stream of aircraft reduces the formation of ice crystals and therefore the climate impact of the resulting contrail cirrus. Halving the ice particles that form in the contrail decreases the climate-warming effect of the contrail cirrus by 20 percent.
Scenarios for the application of civilian unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are becoming increasingly wide-ranging and diverse. In addition to initial tests of parcel deliveries from the air, the first applications in agriculture and the energy sector are already in use, with inspections carried out using unmanned aerial vehicles.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has designated three global space weather service centres to assist aviation with observations and forecasts of near-Earth space and atmospheric conditions during strong solar storms. One of these centres will be set up by the Pan-European Consortium for Aviation Space Weather User Services (PECASUS) under the leadership of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).
Representatives from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (UBC) came together in Augsburg to sign a cooperation agreement for the DLR@UBC research initiative.
Prices for low-cost flights stagnated during the 2018 summer season, then again showing some slight increases, accompanied by another massive expansion of low-cost airlines in Germany. Eurowings and Easyjet expanded their network with the acquisition of numerous aircraft and routes from the bankrupt Air Berlin, while meanwhile Ryanair expanded its operations at Frankfurt Airport into one of its biggest bases in Germany.
Global maritime routes are the backbone of worldwide trade, yet at the same time constitute highly sensitive infrastructure. Ships are exposed to a multitude of risks, be it extreme weather, accidents or criminal activities. Being able to quickly get an overview of any potentially dangerous situation is vital.