ATR’s Clean Sky “All Electrical Aircraft” enters second demo campaign

An ATR 72 prototype has begun its second flying demonstration campaign as part of the EU’s Clean Sky Joint Undertaking (CS JU) programme, the focus of this trial being the testing of an all electrical energy management system, optimising the electrical power distribution, as well as performing checks on a new all-electrical air conditioning system.

The first “green” flying demonstration of the Clean Sky programme with the ATR 72 was completed in July 2015. That campaign tested new and more effective composite insulation materials and new vibro-acoustic sensors integrated into a large panel of the ATR aircraft fuselage. The flights also tested new generation optical fibres for improved identification of micro-cracks and easier maintenance.

The technologies tested through AEA Flying Demonstrator have been jointly developed by ATR’s shareholder Finmeccanica, CS JU members such as Liebherr for the electrical air conditioning system and Thales for the electrical generation, and CS JU partners via calls for proposals.

ATR has been part of the project since it was initiated in 2008 through its Italian shareholder Finmeccanica, the coordinator of the Green Regional Aircraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator, inside the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (CS JTI).

Clean Sky is a measure adopted by the European Parliament to support the trend of public–private partnership initiatives in the field of research. The aim is to jointly develop a broad spectrum of technologies devoted to a clean, innovative and competitive air transport system.

Alessandro Amendola, ATR’s senior vice-president engineering, underlined “the outstanding work jointly carried out by teams at Finmeccanica and ATR in order to test the new ‘all electrical systems’ and further contribute to developing a greener version of regional aviation. The ATR aircraft already have a reputation worldwide for their low fuel burn and their environmental friendliness. Contributing to developing and deploying new technologies for the greener aviation of tomorrow is a key part of ATR’s identity”.

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