In Germany, there are about four times the number of regional airports with a paved runway of at least 1000 metres than major international airports. In the future, new short-haul aircraft with passenger and cargo capacities corresponding to the Airbus A320 family need to be able to take off from and land on these short runways.
The continuously increasing volume in global passenger traffic is mainly performed by long-haul aircraft. As energy resources worldwide are dwindling and carbon dioxide emissions are rising, long-haul aircraft are expected to ensure global mobility in an efficient, environmentally friendly, economical and convenient way.
In the middle of the 21st century, air freight will increasingly be handled by unmanned transporters all over the world. This is the forecast of Flightpath 2050. Highly automated flying promises a reduction in costs and an increase in reliability.
Rescue helicopters are expected to reach the destination where they are needed in a quick, safe, quiet and flexible way - over long distances, in all weather conditions, and at any time of day. A disproportionately large number of traffic accidents occurs at night and in poor visibility. The replacement of ambulances by rescue helicopters is one aspect.
Ninety per cent of all passengers should be able to travel from door to door within Europe in less than four hours, and no flight should be delayed by more than one minute from the scheduled arrival time regardless of weather conditions. These goals have been set out in the European Commission’s "Flightpath 2050 - Europe’s Vision for Aviation".
Today, the development, testing and manufacturing of new aircraft involve extremely high timing and financial risks so that this may cause serious setbacks for manufacturers and suppliers. These risks as well as long service lives after entry into service are counter-productive for dynamic product improvement and rapid implementation of advanced technologies.