Over the last few months, Cranfield Aerospace (CAe) has been working with Boeing Research & Technology on modifying one of Boeing’s two X-48B air vehicles into the X-48C for research as part of NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation, or ERA, project.

Cranfield Aerospace is now also delighted to be contributing directly to Boeing’s programme in support of NASA’s highly publicised ERA Project. Bringing together some of the leading UK academic specialists in aviation environmental and operational issues, Cranfield Aerospace has commenced a nine month study to investigate some of the key environmental issues with a focus on unmanned aircraft operations and integration.

NASA’s ERA project aims to explore and document the feasibility, benefits and technical risk of vehicle concepts and enabling technologies that will reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.

Current-generation aircraft already benefit from NASA investments in aeronautical research that have yielded improved fuel efficiencies, lowered noise levels and reductions in harmful emissions. Although substantial progress has been made, much more needs to be done. The air transportation system is expected to expand significantly within the next two decades. Clearly there is a potential adverse impact from this expansion on the environment. The ERA Project invests in technologies with the potential to neutralize or reduce negative environmental impacts.

The ERA mission is to produce solutions that will enable the aviation system to reach goals for the “mid-term,” defined as 2020 and beyond. By and large, those goals are to reduce noise levels by about 42 decibels, reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent and reduce emissions by 75 percent.

For further details, contact:

Gordon Dickman

UAV Programmes Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1234 75 4254

Email: g.dickman@cranfieldaerospace.com