Airbus has completed the second initial 4D (i4D) trajectory flight trials as part of a joint project with other members of the government-industry Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking team. i4D, a technology designed to ensure aircraft flight trajectories remain synchronized between air and ground throughout all stages of flight, will facilitate more direct paths between destinations in Europe, according to Airbus.
The first trials were conducted in 2012, in an effort to measure the effectiveness of i4D's ability to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions derived from new Air Traffic Management (ATM) procedures. The SESAR team's goal is to reduce the environmental impact per flight by 10 percent, as well as reduce delays with shorter and more direct flights.
"This second flight trial validates further that the sharing of trajectory information between the air and ground can enable a safer and more efficient handling and certainty of flight profiles. The flight trial confirmed that i4D offers important safety and environmental gains, with reductions in fuel costs, increased flight predictability and overall network efficiency," Airbus said.
The latest trial was conducted with an outward route Toulouse¬ – Copenhagen – Stockholm, using a Honeywell Flight Management System (FMS), and a return route using a Thales FMS.
If the validation flights continue to prove successful, i4D will be deployed throughout Europe in 2018.