On September 26, Airbus said in a statement that its campaign to progress to reduce the fuel consumption of its airliners and maintain the aircraft manufacturer and Europe at the forefront of improving the ecological footprint in air transport.
The A340 "BLADE" was designed for a very fluid airflow over the wing surface. This solution is supposed to create less drag than the airflow on the traditional wings, potentially reducing fuel consumption by up to 4.6% on an 800 nautical mile flight.
BLADE project aims to improve the aircraft footprint by reducing friction at the wing level by 50% and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 5%.
Known as the BLADE project - an acronym for "Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe" - the prototype uses the first A340 aircraft produced by Airbus, whose outer wings have been replaced by laminar wing panels approximately 10 meters long.
BLADE is part of the European Clean Sky program. It includes 21 European partners and 500 contributors, including GKN Aerospace and Saab. It aims to improve the aircraft footprint by reducing friction at the wing level by 50% and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 5%. Airbus flight test engineer Philippe Seve said that the A340 BLADE test bench preparations were spread over 16 months, including the integration of laminar flow wing sections, a very complex installation of sensors and instruments to collect 2,750 data for 150 hours of the test flight.