Air&Cosmos International Magazine - issue 8

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AIR&COSMOS N° 8 - 14TH June 2019



AIR SHOW US $19 - 1300 INR - 15 EUR - 120 CNY - 70 AED

l Europe’s future fighter breaks cover l On board the Phénix A330 MRTT l Cheetah picks up speed l Preparing for cyber warfare l Pilot report: A330neo l 2021 target for hybrid electric aircraft l Urban air taxis line up for take-off l Ariane 6: production up and running




The new generation H160 boasts a range of unparalleled safety features. Maximized pilot visibility, intuitive information display, unrivalled pilot assistance with HelionixŽ, and unmatched flight envelope protection. What’s more, it carries up to 12 passengers with a radius of action of 120 NM, while burning 15% less fuel. With so many impressive features, the H160 is a huge step forward not just for its category, but for the environment, too. Safety. We make it fly.

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editorial Hubert de Caslou



Europe first Europe is the venue for what continues to be world’s n°1 aerospace event. This simple fact of French and European leadership is worth savouring — as the established powers parade their achievements and emerging aerospace nations proclaim their ambitions, Le Bourget remains the place where industry leaders have to be once every two years. The Paris Air Show — beyond the buzz of breaking news — is an occasion to step back and consider the state of the industry, particularly here in Europe, to review the standard-setting programmes and the new projects coming off the drawing board and to look for clues about where emerging technology might take us in the longer term. Among the European programmes in the limelight this year is the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) bringing together France, Germany and Spain in a programme to renew their combat aviation by 2040 (see page 6). FCAS will be a network-connected system of systems, including a future fighter to be unveiled at the Show in mockup form. Another military programme on display in mockup form for the first time here is the latest addition to the Airbus Helicopters military lineup — the Joint Light Helicopter, recently baptised Cheetah (page 16). On the civil side, our test pilot reports his impressions at the controls of the new Airbus A330neo (page 40), and we also focus on another Airbus success story, the A350, which has booked almost 900 orders to date (page 46). Looking further into the future, electric propulsion promises to revolutionise the aircraft as we know it.We take an in-depth look at the advances that have been made and the hurdles that have still to be overcome before the first all-electric commercial aircraft can take to the air (page 58 and 64). Hybrid urban air mobility solutions, including projects from Airbus and Bell, will come sooner — the first demonstration flights are just a couple of years away (page 74). We also take a close look at a much more low-profile, but critical, aspect of today’s inter-connected world — cyber security.We investigate how the French ministry of the armed forces and the French Air Force are preparing for battle in the digital domain (page 20). We also review efforts under way to protect the air transport sector — airlines, airports and manufacturers — from cyber threats (page 26).

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SPECIAL REPORT: Paris Air Show Europe’s future fighter breaks cover............................................................................................6 On board the Phénix A330 MRTT ....................................................................................................12 Military helicopters: Cheetah picks up speed ....................................................................16 Cyber security: Preparing for cyber warfare .......................................................................20 Cyber security: Civil aviation sector on guard....................................................................26 Interview: Barbara Dalibard, CEO of Air Transport IT and communications specialist SITA....................................................................................32 Pilot report: A330neo, Airbus’ upgraded long-ranger..................................................40 A350 XWB: a family affair .....................................................................................................................46 Interview: Stéphane Cueille, Chief Technology Officer at Safran and president of Corac Civil Aerospace Research Council .....................................58 Hybrid electric aircraft target 2021 .............................................................................................64 Urban Air Mobility: Taxis line up for take-off .......................................................................74 Anti-drone market set to soar...........................................................................................................80 Ariane 6: production up and running..........................................................................................86 Interview: Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace ...............................................................88 New “black” stage for Ariane 6 .....................................................................................................90 ........................................................................................Articles translated from French by Duncan Macrae



N° 8

Art Director and design: Mourad Cherfi Production: Frédéric Bergerat Coordination : Duncan Macrae Editors: Antony Angrand, Justine Boquet,Yann Cochennec,JeanBaptiste Heguy, Emmanuel Huberdeau, Pierre-François Mouriaux Copy editor: Duncan Macrae Sales & Advertising: Cyril Mikaïloff ( Business development: Henry de Freycinet Publishing director: Hubert de Caslou

Cover photo: Bourget / M. CHErFi (AirBuS/DASSAult) SOCIÉTÉ DES ÉDITIONS AIR & COSMOS (SAS)

S.A.S. au capital de 1.000.000 € Siret 632 008 702 000 37. Siège social : 157, boulevard Macdonald 75019 Paris (France) Principaux actionnaires : Discom S.A.S. et Hubert de Caslou


© AIR COSMOS ISSN 1240-3113 - Dépôt légal à la date de parution Numéro de commission paritaire : 0215 T 86120 Distribué par Presstalis - Impression : Imprimerie Léonce-Deprez Toute reproduction des textes et documents est interdite, ainsi que leur utilisation à des fins publicitaires. Les textes de publicité sont rédigés sous la responsabilité des annonceurs. Ils n’engagent pas « Air & Cosmos ». Pour garantir son indépendance, « Air & Cosmos » se réserve le droit de refuser (même en cours de programme) toute insertion publicitaire sans avoir à justifier sa décision. Copyright 2015.

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FIGHTER BREAKS COVER France, Germany and Spain have embarked on an ambitiouS proGramme to renew their combat aviation by 2040. the Future combat air SyStem (FcaS) will be an overarchinG SyStem includinG a new FiGhter, droneS, miSSileS and SenSorS linked toGether in a network and interoperable with other air, Sea and land platFormS.

The Next Generation Fighter (NGF), will be at the core of a system of systems.

he FCAS is not only destined to replace the Rafale in France and the Eurofighter in Germany and Spain. It is a much broader programme to develop a system of systems to enable Europeans to maintain a first entry capability in a theatre of operations in the 2040 timeframe. Through this project, the three countries hope to maintain their ability to intervene in an increasingly contested aerial environment (see box). FCAS is the result of an initiative launched in July 2017 at a meeting of the FrancoGerman Defence and Security Council. The two countries then agreed to develop in partnership the systems that will make it possible to renew their combat aviation, currently represented primarily by the Rafale and the Eurofighter.This alliance comes at a time when Franco-UK cooperation launched in 2014 on an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator project, also known as FCAS (Future



Combat Air System), is beginning to falter. In fact, the project is now practically abandoned, even if there is still joint development work on certain technologies.A budget of nearly €2bn (£1.54bn) for the construction of a prototype UCAV by 2020 had been announced in 2016.


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In April 2018, at the Berlin Air Show, France and Germany announced the signature of High Level Common Operational Requirements Documents (HL CORD) for the FCAS. In June 2018, Florence Parly, French Minister of the French Armed Forces, and her German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen signed a letter of intent concerning FCAS. This set the

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target of launching a study phase for the programme in the following months.The letter of intent also designated France as lead nation on the project. On 31st January 2019, a twoyear contract worth â‚Ź65 million, financed equally by Paris and Berlin, was awarded to Airbus and Dassault Aviation to conduct a joint concept study. This study is intended to define an initial system architecture. In other words, it will identify the preferred basic concepts for the main components of the FCAS: the fighter,drones,system of systems


and associated services.At the same time, studies were launched for the engine for the future fighter. Safran and MTU will be in charge of developing the engine. On the occasion of the Paris Air Show, industry is expecting the signature of a contract for the development of demonstrators. MBDA will be charged with developing weapons, which will play an important role in the programme. Other companies will be involved, such as Thales, Hensoldt and Indra, since Spain has also joined the programme. Berlin

and Paris had indicated from the outset that the programme would be open to other allied nations wishing to join the Franco-German initiative. However, for now it seems important to consolidate the project around a limited number of players. The difficulties encountered by the A400M programme are a reminder that too many participants in a multinational programme can complicate system specifications and delay the implementation of the project.Also,it seems important to define industrial work-sharing


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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 according to the know-how of the companies involved rather than according to a “fair return” based on the level of investment made by each nation. Thus,Dassault Aviation will lead development of the NGF (New Generation Fighter) while Airbus will be responsible for the system of systems. In fact,Airbus will support Dassault on the NGF and Dassault could also be involved in the system of systems. SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS.

What exactly will the FCAS look like? The term system of systems can be difficult to grasp.The French ministry of the armed forces the FCAS as a system based on a manned component,missiles and highly connected drones capable of acting autonomously if necessary. The system will be adapted to today’s aerial threats and will leverage the potential of artificial intelligence, the ministry adds. The ministry further indicates that the system must be multi-role and flexible and must be able to meet the requirements of the full spectrum of air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It is therefore a new approach to the design process.The FCAS will first be developed as a network within which complementary platforms will evolve.The initial focus, therefore, is on the creation of a network and an information system that will enable platforms, sensors, weapons and command centres to exchange very large volumes of data at high speed. The information system must be designed to process this "tsunami" of information autonomously in order to allow human operators to concentrate on decision-making.The decision-making process must be as rapid as possible. This system of systems has been designated the "Air Combat Cloud". The combat cloud will be based on new data links that allow high-speed and secure information exchange.This network could be based on satellites and systems derived from mobile telephone relays.The use of lasers is also being considered.


Tempest: the UK solution he united kingdom has also announced its intention to develop a future air combat system; the project presented at the last Farnborough air Show is called tempest. the uk ministry of defence plans to spend £2bn over the next ten years on this programme. an initial study was due to be published at the end of 2018 and a decision on whether to pursue the programme will be taken at the end of 2020. the final procurement decision is scheduled to be made before 2025. the programme is being conducted by "team tempest", comprising the ministry of defence (including the royal air Force capabilities office and the defence technology laboratory), bae Systems, rolls-royce, leonardo and mbda. bae Systems will be responsible for the development of the combat system and overall integration. rolls-royce will work on the engines, leonardo on sensors, electronics and avionics. mbda will be in charge of weapons. london has proposed to other nations to join the programme. Some observers believe that in the long term there could be a merger between the tempest and FcaS programmes.


The network will probably have to be managed from a dedicated command centre capable of managing these data flows and protecting itself in the event of a cyber attack. The Combat Cloud will also use megadata and artificial intelligence for collection, storage, real-time fusion and redistribution of information. Human-machine interfaces will be designed to facilitate the task of human operators. The system should be optimised so that people can focus on decision-making and other functions can be performed by machines. The new platforms will all be integrated into this network, but the platforms still in service in the 2030, 2040 timeframe will also have to be integrated. FCAS technologies are expected to be phased in gradually from 2030 onwards.The Rafale, Eurofighter,A400M,A330 MRTT,Eurodrone will therefore have to be able to exchange information just like the future fighter aircraft or drones. In the same way, ground troops and warships will also have to be taken into account.The system will also have to be interoperable with the assets of other European nations and NATO. NEXT GENERATION FIGHTER.

At the core of this system of systems will be a new combat aircraft —

the Next Generation Fighter (NGF) — which will replace the Rafale and Eurofighter. For the time being,industry and the armed forces are still in the preliminary design phase of this aircraft. No definitive choices have been made. Models and artists' views have been presented by Dassault Aviation and the ministry of the armed forces,but it is likely that the concept will still evolve significantly. EricTrappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, however, recently explained that the NGF will be larger than the Rafale, that it will have a significant weapons payload capability, and that it will have to be stealthy and agile. A large part of the development will be devoted to connectivity issues. Information-sharing has become a key aspect of air operations.The NGF could also be used in some cases as an advanced command and control platform, at the head of a swarm of drones, for example. To increase the survivability of the aircraft, France, Germany and Spain have therefore decided to focus on stealth.Signature reduction efforts will be multispectral,focusing on radar signature but also infrared and electromagnetic signatures. This can be achieved through shaping and the materials used.The NGF models and artist's renderings show a design without vertical tails, probably to reduce the radar

signature. Stealth aircraft carrying their weapons and fuel internally are larger than conventional fighters carrying their weapons or fuel tanks under the wing, which explains why the aircraft will probably be larger than the Rafale. The aircraft will be the result of trade-offs between the cost of design, production and ownership, size, weight, agility, stealth, weapons payload and autonomy.The importance of connectivity could lead to greater volume and cost dedicated to communication systems compared to previous-generation fighters.The size of the NGF could also be affected by the size of the ASN4G missile, the future replacement for the ASMPA nuclear missile currently carried by the Rafale. If the NGF also takes over the nuclear deterrence mission, its dimensions will have to be compatible with the future hypersonic missile. In general, however, the design team is likely to try and limit the size of the aircraft. On the one hand, to limit costs, and, on the other, to satisfy the requirement that the NGF be capable of operating from an aircraft carrier. France stipulated in the High Level Common Operational Requirements Documents that FCAS should be available in a naval variant. This means that the NGF will have to be able to operate from


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DEFENCE an aircraft carrier, in theory the replacement for the Charles de Gaulle for which studies have been launched by France. The French Navy has insisted that this aspect be taken into account from the design phase of the NGF, as was the case for the Rafale. This means that the NGF must be designed for catapult launches and be able to land by catching the carrier's arresting cables.The weight of the aircraft will therefore be a key issue, its wingspan, too, in view of space constraints on the aircraft carrier deck and in the hangars. The NGF must also be designed to resist catapult and landing loads.Like the Rafale M, the NGF in its naval version will, therefore, required reinforced landing gear and a tailhook. It must also be designed to resist corrosion due to the marine environment.The aircraft will also need to be able to quickly dump fuel to reduce its landing weight. The French Navy considers that these aspects, although they are essential, are not overly restrictive and can also benefit the air force version of the NGF. The German Navy does not have aircraft carriers but also seems interested in these aspects, which could

Contested airspace, a growing challenge ince the end of the cold war, western air forces have seen no serious challenge to their control of the air. however, this relative freedom of action may not last for long, due to a proliferation of medium- to long-range air defence systems, particularly of russian origin. medium-size powers — even paramilitary groups, as in ukraine — can now acquire modern multi-layer air defence systems. potential adversaries such as china and russia have developed long-range systems that are a focus of concern for western military planners. Similarly, medium-size powers have also


been able to acquire modern fighters in recent decades. new systems are being used to challenge western air superiority. For example, satellite navigation system jammers are readily available. the cyber domain is another new threat. electronic warfare will also remain a major focus of attention. air forces must therefore adapt. network-connected platforms and the use of artificial intelligence are two ways to reduce the decision-making loop and thus increase efficiency and responsiveness. platforms and weapons will also have to increase their resilience through speed, agility and stealth.

Th he 5th generation Helmet

We e are waiting for you SALON DU BOURGET Hall 2B - Stand n° F 183

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 boost the aircraft's naval aviation capabilities. An NGF demonstrator could fly by 2026. It will be used to validate certain aspects of the design. Like the Rafale A with respect to the current versions of the Rafale, this demonstrator will probably be quite different from the version that will enter service more than ten years later. REMOTE CARRIERS.

FCAS will also include a set of unmanned flying platforms called "Remote carriers".These will be different types of drones that can perform a wide variety of missions. Work in this area is also at a conceptual stage.At the top end of the spectrum, FCAS could include a UCAV combat drone. Current UCAV concepts are generally the size of a fighter.They must be able to perform some of the fighter’s missions. For example, the combat drone could be dispatched to contested areas for reconnaissance missions or to destroy enemy defence systems without endangering human lives. In this regard, Europe can rely on the ongoing Dassault-led Neuron UCAV demonstrator programme. FCAS could also include smaller drones. Some will be able to fly in swarms, in a coordinated way capable of saturating an enemy defences by their numbers and flight profiles. Some drones will be designed to be recovered while other, less costly vehicles will be expendable. Depending on their payload capacity,these drones could perform different types of missions. Other drones may also be specialised in certain missions such as reconnaissance or electronic warfare. They could be produced in a wide range of sizes.Some could be dropped from a mother plane. The French Navy is also looking at deployment of drones from the frigates in the carrier battle group as part of the naval dimension of the FCAS programme. In general, these drones must be designed to allow rapid modifications or upgrades to keep pace with changing operational needs and threats. These drones


should possess greater decisionmaking autonomy compared to drones currently in service.Thus a single human operator will be able to direct several vehicles on a mission that they can then carry out autonomously. One can imagine a scenario where an NGF will take off on a mission accompanied by several drone vehicles under its control. FCAS will also include smart weapons that are also highly connected.This will be the case, for example, with the Franco-British Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) to be developed by MBDA. PERSPECTIVES.

There are still many years to go before FCAS enters service. In the meantime, the combat capabilities of the French, German and Spanish air forces will continue to be based on upgraded versions of the Typhoon and Rafale.The Typhoon has gradually expanded its multi-role capabilities, particularly within the Royal Air Force

with the Centurion programme, which included the integration of the Bridgestone, Storm Shadow and Meteor missiles. In France, the French Air Force and the French Navy are beginning to receive the first F3R standard Rafales, including integration of the Talios targeting pod and the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile as well as software upgrades. In January 2019, France launched development of the Rafale F4 standard, which is scheduled to enter service in 2024.This will include connectivity enhancements with the integration of a satellite communication system, new satellite and aircraft-to-aircraft links, a communication server, and a software radio. A step towards the connectivity expected for the FCAS. Similarly, the A330 MRTT will gradually be able to serve as a communication node and the A400M has been equipped with modern communication systems from the outset.The arrival of these aircraft in increasing numbers will allow the French

Air Force to gradually increase its connectivity. As far as drones are concerned, the French Air Force will soon be equipped for the first time with an armed platform — the MQ9 Reaper, already in service since 2013 but until now without weapons.This will be a first step towards the future role of drones.The Eurodrone being developed within a European framework and expected to enter service in 2025, could also be armed. However, MALE UAVs are not optimised for use in contested airspace. Slow and lacking agility, they can be easy targets for air defence systems or other fighters. Faster, stealthier, more agile drones, capable of operating in swarms, will be needed to penetrate these contested areas. It would probably be an advantage to quickly integrate this type of capability in preparation for the FCAS and to ensure that our air forces are not deprived of a valuable capability until such time as the FCAS enters service in 2040. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau

Variable-cycle engine for NGF his new-generation combat aircraft must be capable of producing high supersonic thrust and cruising at low speed over long periods,” comments Stéphane cueille, chief technology officer, r&t and innovation at Safran. Safran and mtu aero engines entered into an industrial partnership in early 2019 to design and develop the engine for the next Generation Fighter (nGF) under the FcaS programme. “the division of roles between the two engine manufacturers was based on the principle of the ‘best performer’: the goal is for each to work in his or her field of expertise. Safran is responsible for the development of the hot sections and engine integration, while mtu aero engines is responsible for the cold sections and mro services. other european manufacturers may join the programme, according to the aspirations of the various countries,” adds cueille. the nGF engine will therefore have to be versatile. it will also be more compact to reduce weight, and its thrust, which will be much greater than that of the rafale, will allow the nGF to carry more weapons. Finally, it will have to contribute to the stealth of the aircraft. many innovations will therefore be necessary. the turbine alone, which will reach temperatures of around 2,100°c, will require in-depth studies since this temperature is beyond the reach of current blade technologies and materials. Safran has set up a research platform on advanced turbine blades to develop advanced technologies and materials that can withstand these temperatures. the engine will also have to be of "variable cycle" design, i.e. capable of adjusting the ratio between the primary and secondary air streams, and equipped with a thrust vectoring nozzle for increased agility. another innovative approach being considered is a hybrid arrangement to manage on-board energy. as a first step, Safran will demonstrate its innovation capabilities by developing an m88-derived engine by 2025 to power the first nGF demonstrator. the actual engine demonstrator is scheduled for 2027.



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hith its airliner silhouette, the Phénix A330 MRTT is not at first sight the most outwardly impressive aircraft in the French Air Force fleet. However, the new in-flight refuelling tanker will mark a step change in the capabilities of the French armed forces. It will also boost the credibility of the airborne component of the French nuclear deterrent.The Phénix will replace an ageing fleet of C-135FR and KC-135 tankers, the oldest of which were delivered more than five decades ago, in 1964. It also introduces a major capability enhancement, with superior range and the ability to carry substantially greater quantities of fuel, troops and equipment. The Phénix is also a much more

RAAF A330 MRTT refuels two F-18s.





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First Phénix A330 MRTT tanker for the French Air Force.



connected aircraft, with communication, data link and mission systems that will allow it to fulfill a new role at the nexus of air operations.

Wingspan: F12 AIRCRAFT BY 2023.

60.3m Length:

58.8m Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce Trent 772B Max. takeoff weight:

233t Max. fuel load:

110t Cruise speed:

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France intends to acquire 15 A330 MRTTs, 12 of which have been ordered to date for delivery before 2023. The Phénix fleet will replace the 14 C-135s (11 C-135FRs and three KC-135s), as well as two A340s and three A310s dedicated to transport missions.The Phénix is designed to operate as an in-flight refuelling tanker and a strategic transport aircraft.The aircraft will be based in Istres, which already hosts the 31st strategic refuelling and transportation wing and its C-135s. Major work is underway to adapt the existing infrastructure


to the new aircraft.The runways and taxiways are being adapted to operate the A330 MRTT, which has a maximum take-off weight of 233 tonnes, compared with 125 tonnes for the C-135. The wingspan of the Phénix is also greater, at 60.3m compared to 40m for the C-135. New hangars and other facilities are therefore being built, including a centre for the simulator developed specifically for France. Fuel storage and refuelling facilities specially adapted to the Phénix have also been set up. They allow two aircraft to be loaded simultaneously at a flow rate of 120m3/hour. Each aircraft can carry up to 110 tonnes of fuel. MODIFIED AIRLINER.

The A330 MRTT is a modified

version of the A330 operated by commercial airlines.The future MRTTs are taken directly from the Toulouse final assembly line. They are then transferred to Getafe, near Madrid, to be transformed into in-flight refuelling tankers.The fuel load of the military version is identical to that of the civilian version; the cargo holds and the cabin are also more or less identical. Like many commercial A330s, the Phénix is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines. The advantage for the MRTT's military customers is that they can rely on the huge quantities of data collected by Airbus concerning the commercial A330 fleet.This data ensures that the manufacturer is thoroughly familiar with the platform and its maintenance


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requirements. Spare parts and maintenance centres are also present around the globe. The MRTT is equipped with a maintenance computer that collects all maintenance data and feeds it into the databases of the French Air Force and Airbus. Various components on the aircraft will also gradually be equipped with RFID chips to facilitate tracking. What really sets the A330 MRTT apart from the civil A330 are the in-flight refuelling systems, communication systems, mission system, self-protection features (not yet installed on the Phénix) and cockpit armour. In-flight refuelling systems are of two types, flexible and rigid. The flexible systems are deployed from two nacelles supplied by Cobham.These nacelles are almost identical to those on the C-135FR, except that the


MRTT system is electrically powered. Each nacelle contains a retractable hose-and-drogue system.The two nacelles can be deployed simultaneously to refuel two fighters at the same time at an offload rate of 1,703 litres per minute.This system is used for aircraft equipped with a refuelling probe, i.e. European designs and US Navy aircraft. The rigid system uses the Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), a telescopic boom that inserts into a receptacle fitted to aircraft designed for the U.S. Air Force.The development of this boom has been relatively complex.The boom is equipped with a veritable flight control system that actuates fins that facilitate control of the boom.The boom is controlled by the AROs (Air Refuelling Operators) seated at two rear-facing consoles in

the cockpit of the Phénix. Highdefinition 3D cameras allow them to monitor refuelling operations and precisely position the boom. An belly-mounted illumination system which is visible only with night vision goggles makes it possible to carry out night refuelling with all lights extinguished. These systems are common to practically all A330 MRTTs (only the UK chose not to install the boom), though France requested specific features to adapt the aircraft to its requirements and more specifically to the nuclear deterrence mission. MISSION SYSTEM.

The first contacts between Airbus, the DGA and the French Air Force were made in 2008. In 2012, the reference military characteristics of the Phénix were

validated. In particular, France requested development of a mission system, the “Tanker Integrated Mission System”. This system includes a ground segment and an on-board segment. The ground segment is used for mission preparation. In flight, the system allows the crew to access a vast amount of information, including cartography and the tactical situation: “We have everything the fighter pilots have,” comments one of the first pilots of the Phénix. In particular, the system makes it possible to calculate the exact rendezvous point with the aircraft to be refuelled and manage the fuel quantity.The communication systems include link 16 and HF radio.A satellite communication system is to be introduced with the next Phénix standard, as well as the self-protection system.With


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SPECIAL ISSUE its mission system and communication systems, the Phénix will become an important component of the French air combat system. With the next standard it will become a veritable communication node.The aircraft can also be used as an intelligence relay with the ability to receive, process and disseminate received data. The front section of the cockpit is almost identical to that of the civil version of the A330. Only a few communication systems and the fuel management system are specific to the A330 MRTT. Pilots can access the mission system through laptops. As a Phénix pilot explains, the aircraft is a modern platform with highly integrated systems.The challenge for pilots transitioning from the C-135 or A310 and A340, is to learn to interact with the system. For the rest, flying the plane is fairly straightforward. Another specific feature of the French version of the A330

MRTT is the ability to carry the Morphée intensive care module. This module, already used on the C-135, will make it possible to transport up to 10 heavy casualties. Integration of the Morphée module is currently being tested on the second French Phénix. The CM-30 configuration also allows up to 40 lighter casualties to be transported on stretchers. The final particularity of the French version is the presence of a second rest area for the crew. This takes the form of a removable module placed in the hold and accessible from the cabin. It complements the pilot rest area located close to the cockpit. The Phénix cabin can be adapted according to the mission. For troop transport, the configuration is that of an airliner. With this layout, the Phénix can carry 272 passengers over a distance of 10,000km. The cargo hold can then be used for the transport of equipment. In total, the Phénix

can carry 40 tons of equipment over a distance of 7,000km. The Phénix will take over the missions currently performed by the C-135,A310 and A330 aircraft. The most emblematic and specific of these missions is air-to-air refuelling. In this domain, the Phénix offers significantly greater capabilities. It can offload 50 tons of fuel during a 4h30 loitering mission at a range of 2,000km from its takeoff point. In the same scenario, the C-135 can offload only 17 tonnes.To put this in perspective, a Rafale with three underwing fuel tanks can carry up to 11.4 tonnes of fuel. NUCLEAR DETERRENCE.

The Phénix fleet will be operated by the Strategic Air Forces (FAS) and will participate in nuclear deterrence. In the context of a nuclear mision, the aircraft must be able to provide support for the Rafale Bs of the FAS.Thanks to the tankers, the Rafale can

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carry out very long-range strike missions. In January 2019, a 12hour mission between Reunion Island and France, involving one Phénix, two C-135s and two Rafales, demonstrated the ability of the Dassault fighter to hit a target more than 10,000km away after a single nonstop flight. For transportation missions, the payload capacity of the Phénix is comparable to that of the A340. The latter can carry 41 tonnes over a distance of 11,500km or 279 passengers over 11,800km.The Phénix can carry 40 tons over 7,000km or 272 passengers over 7,000km. But the French Air Force currently operates only two A340s within the Esterelle Squadron, whereas in the long term, 15 A330 MRTTs should be available.The Phénix will also be able to carry out medical evacuation missions using the Morphée and CM30 modules. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau

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Full-scale mockup of Joint Light Helicopter.




uma,Tiger, Cougar, Caracal, Panther — a new name has now been added to the list of big cats developed by Airbus Helicopters for the French armed forces. Florence Parly, the French minister of the armed forces, announced on 27th May that the H160M — the military version of the H160, scheduled to enter service next year — will be named Cheetah.The aircraft was selected under the Joint Light Helicopter (HIL, for Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger) programme, which will replace French Air Force Fennecs and Pumas, French Army Gazelles and Fennecs, and French Navy Panthers and Alouette IIIs with a single platform. Parly was visiting the Airbus Helicopters Marignane site for the presentation of the full-scale mockup of the H160M, which will be on display at the Paris Air Show.. Florence Parly took the opportunity to announce that the pace of the programme will be accelerated. Under the current version of the LPM multiyear defence spending bill, the programme was scheduled to be launched in 2022. This has now been brought

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he launch of france’s Joint light helicopter (hil, for hélicoptère interarmées léger) has been brought forward by one year, to 2021. the hil, or cheetah, as it is now named, is due to replace a broad range of existing platforms, including french air force fennecs and pumas, french army gazelles and fennecs, and french navy panthers and alouette iiis. under the accelerated

forward by one year, to 2021, and the first deliveries will now take place two years earlier than planned.The armed forces should receive the first Cheetah in 2026 instead of 2028. In total, the French armed forces are scheduled to receive 169 Cheetahs: 80 for the Army, 49 for the Navy and 40 for the Air Force (which should also receive 12 manoeuvre helicopters).


The Cheetah will be built around a platform common to the three armed forces, with equipment integrated according to the specific needs of each force. Having this common base will facilitate maintenance but also the training of pilots and technicians.The mockup presented in Marignane represented a mixed configuration featuring


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elements common to the three variants, as well as equipment or weapons that will only be carried by one of the three forces. The exact definition of this equipment has not yet been decided and could still evolve. But the common equipment should include the avionics developed by Thales, the electro-optical system installed in a turret under the nose of the aircraft, the winch

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and the fast rope supports (one on each side), the fuel dump system and the self-protection system. On the military version, the air outlets are oriented upwards in order to reduce the helicopter’s thermal signature from the ground.The blades and the tail fin will be foldable to reduce the footprint of the aircraft, particularly on French Navy vessels. The ANL light anti-ship missile


on the mockup will only be used by the Navy, as will the harpoon used to tether the helicopter to the frigate landing grid. The Cheetah could be equipped with a radar composed of several fixed electronic scanning antennas intended for maritime surveillance or the detection of other aircraft for Air Force air policing missions.Thales is currently developing this system,

which should be operational by 2028.The machine gun nacelle should be used mainly by the Army or Air Force. For the Air Force, the use of an in-flight refuelling probe and a tactical data link were apparent on computer graphics published in 2018.These have since been modified and the aircraft is now represented with an IFF transponder for air policing missions. Airbus Heli-


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The military version will rely as much as possible on the civil H160.

copters has announced that the core of the HForce system will be used to develop the H160M weapon system. The mockup also features two door-mounted machine guns. H160 DERIVATIVE.

At the present time, only the H160, the civilian version of the aircraft, is flying.The three prototypes have already accumulated several thousand flight hours. Certification of the H160 is expected in 2019, followed by first deliveries in 2020. It was decided to rely as much as possible on this civilian platform to develop the military version. Both the civil and military versions will be powered by Safran Arrano engines. Studies carried out by Airbus show that the excess power available on the civilian version will be sufficient to compensate for the increase in weight due to the military systems. Airbus developed the H160 with the aim of producing an


New production setup for H160 or the h160 programme, airbus helicopters decided to redefine its industrial architecture, based on the distribution of production work between its different sites. the helicopter has been divided into three major component assemblies (mcas), each produced at a different facility. in this airbus-type system, the goal is for each mca to arrive at the final assembly line in marignane fully tested and configured. the tail boom is built in albacete, spain; the centre fuselage, in donauwĂśrth, germany; and the avionics bay and main dynamic assemblies, in marignane, france. the assembly line comprises a series of five work stations featuring semiautomated robotic systems used to install the main dynamic assemblies and the safran arrano engines. the entire system has been designed to achieve maximum efficiency while facilitating


assembly tasks by eliminating the need to lift heavy loads and to work in contorted positions — the work platform can raise the entire fuselage if necessary. another advantage of the platform is that it offers a second work level, which is much appreciated when it comes to installing the dynamic assemblies and engines. thanks to the reduced-rate assembly of the pre-production machines, the company aims to smooth out any teething problems and achieve a good level of industrial maturity of the production process before the initial production ramp-up. the marignane assembly line is being designed to produce 30-35 h160s per year at full capacity. the dedicated building has ample space for a second assembly line, if justified by market demand, and there is even a possibility for a third line dedicated to the h160m.


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SPECIAL ISSUE aircraft that would be easy to maintain and whose cost per flight hour would be carefully controlled. These are features that will benefit the Cheetah. The H160 is designed to fly for 50 hours without maintenance. The most important equipment is positioned to be easily accessible. Steps will allow mechanics to access the entire aircraft without external equipment. Engineers took inspiration from technologies developed for the Airbus A350 to design composite components that could be quickly repaired. The technical documentation for the H160M will be all-digital and will include repair solutions with tasks ordered in sequence to facilitate the work of technicians. By relying on the civil platform, the ministry of the armed forces and Airbus both hope to accelerate the programme while reducing the development, manufacturing and ownership costs of the future Cheetah.The two versions will be assembled on a

single production line in Marignane. According to Parly, the HIL programme should make it possible to secure 2,000 jobs in France, mainly in the Provence Alpes Côtes d'Azur region. NEW CAPABILITIES.

The acceleration of the Cheetah programme will come as good news for the armed forces who are eagerly awaiting the new aircraft.The Alouette III and Gazelle are over 40 years old. But the Cheetah should not only replace these aircraft in terms of numbers. It will bring new capabilities. The H160 is already known to be fast, manoeuvrable, powerful and quiet thanks in particular to its Blue Edge rotor blades. According to Airbus, the Arrano engine reduces fuel consumption. Avionics systems has been designed to minimise the crew's workload despite the multiple on-board systems.The spacious cabin opens up new possibilities in terms of personnel or system transportation.

Within the ALAT light aviation section of the French Army, it is thus planned to use the Cheetah as a command platform. The available space could also be used, for example, to integrate a UAV control system. Overall, the aircraft could be used for a wide spectrum of missions, from reconnaissance to troop transport. It will allow the NH90 Cayman and the Tiger to focus on their core missions — assault and attack, respectively. Airbus has been working on the development of the H160M for nearly ten years in close collaboration with the French defence procurement agency DGA and the three branches of the armed forces. The company is currently working on a risk reduction study.The specific features of the H160M have already been modelled in 3D, and the production of this full-scale mockup is a first concrete expression of this work. It will be used to present the aircraft to future customers. But it will also be used by

the programme teams to conduct ergonomic tests or to check the integration of equipment. Two prototypes are planned as part of the Cheetah programme.The first one should fly in 2023. In the meantime, some preliminary tests could be carried out on the prototypes of the civil H160.Airbus Helicopters should also benefit from the feedback from the French Navy, which plans to lease H160s for rescue missions at sea.This intermediate fleet will be used pending the arrival of the Cheetah. Parly underlined that the development of the H160M will help to renew the military product line of Airbus Helicopters. The aircraft will be offered on the medium helicopter market, which is estimated to represent 400 aircraft over the period 2025/2035.Airbus aims to capture part of this market, and an entry into service in the French armed forces will constitute a powerful selling point.. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau



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InterconnectIons among the dIfferent components of the future combat aIr system (fcas) pose a number of challenges for the armed forces. among those requIrIng an overarchIng approach and a comprehensIve response Is that of cyber securIty for the varIous systems Involved. here, we look at how the french mInIstry of the armed forces and the french aIr force

The armed forces must be able to anticipate threats from the digital domain.

yber security is now becoming a major concern for the armed forces and needs to be taken into account at the earliest stage of system design. Cyber space has become a new theatre of confrontation, just like land, sea, air and space. The armed forces must be able to anticipate threats from the digital domain in order to protect infrastructures and systems. Defence ministries, therefore, must guarantee the security of technologies “in an increasingly digital environment and ensure operational commitments despite possible attacks on systems. An attack on information systems could raise a major sovereignty issue in the event of a takeover or paralysis of sectors vital to the State,” according to a special

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report on Cyber Defence in the specialised French defence publication, Engagement. In reality, automation of systems and the integration of artificial intelligence algorithms is a double-edged sword. While this boosts system performance and relieves people of repetitive tasks, it also increases the vulnerability of the armed forces.The digital age and the multiplication of di-

gital equipment may also represent a certain weakness.“Penetration of networks to acquire information, gaining control from a distance, destruction of critical infrastructure — the types of threats are numerous,” adds Engagement. The development of programmes that focus on the interconnection of systems therefore reinforces the perception of this threat.


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“Further digitalisation and even more system interconnection are the logical next steps as the aerospace sector, like every other sector, embraces the challenges of the digital transformation. Instead of closed systems communicating one-on-one, today we have an ecosystem that is completely interconnected and more open to the outside world than ever before. Open, interconnected

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French Air Force NCO training school (EFSOAA) key figures In 2018, EFSOAA trained 6,300 people (students and trainees) 5,000 specialists trained per year 1,300 trainees undergoing further training 2,000 students present every day 2014: 700 students in initial training 2018: 1,450 young students in initial training


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systems bring new opportunities and better performance, but also new risks as cyberattacks grow in number and sophistication,” Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President in charge of Secure Communications and Information Systems at Thales, declared in September 2017. FCAS is a perfect example of this phenomenon, since its goal is to create a system of systems based on interconnection and the exchange of large volumes of data. In addition, aircraft are largely dependent on communication systems, often provided by satellite. “The main threat to the aviation sector lies in ground networks connected to aircraft, which contain all flight-related informa-


Cyber security glossary ccording to the definition established by the French ministry of armed forces, a cyber attack is a “malicious act of computer piracy in cyber space. Cyber attacks can be the action of an isolated person, a group, a state. They include misinformation, electronic espionage that could weaken a nation's competitive advantage, clandestine modification of sensitive data on the battlefield or disruption of a country's critical infrastructure (water, electricity, gas, communication, commercial networks). Cyber space is “a global domain consisting of the meshed network of


information technology infrastructures (including the internet), telecommunication networks, IT systems, processors and integrated control mechanisms. It includes the digital information being carried as well as online service operators.” Finally, information system security refers to all the technical and non-technical protective measures that enable an information system to withstand events that could compromise the availability, integrity or confidentiality of the data stored, processed or transmitted and the related services that these systems provide or make accessible.


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SPECIAL ISSUE tion.The European Aviation Safety Agency believes that these systems are less secure than the avionics embedded in aircraft," according to a recent report on cyber security in the aerospace sector in the specialist defence publication Penser les ailes françaises. STRATEGY.

In response to this challenge, and its expected exponential growth, the French ministry of the armed forces has adopted a cyber strategy, which was presented by armed forces minister Florence Parly on 18th January.The minister noted the rapid evolution of the digital domain, coupled with the increasing development of new and ever more efficient technologies.“Think of the future combination of cyber attacks and artificial intelligence, fighting on the networks at a speed that defies human understanding,” said Parly. But if France has decided to invest in cyber security it is also because it is frequently the victim of large-scale attacks.The ministry's email server was targeted in 2017, which could have compromised sensitive information. “In 2017, 700 security events, including 100 attacks, targeted the ministry's networks. In 2018, this total was reached in September,” remarks Parly. Hence the decision by the French armed forces to react and adopt a strategy that is both defensive and offensive. “In the event of a cyber attack on our forces, we reserve the right to retaliate [...]We also reserve the right, regardless of the attacker, to neutralise the effects and digital tools used. But we will also be ready to use cyber weapons in external operations for offensive purposes, either alone or in support of our conventional assets, to multiply their effects," the minister declared. These words were echoed by armed foces chief of staff General Lecointre. On 18th January he indicated:“Defensive cyber warfare is essential to protect our assets in the conduct of operations, but it is possible to go beyond that. Offensive cyber warfare can be a formidable multiplier of effects.”

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The measures announced by the minister of the armed forces are therefore aligned with the ambitions of the French multiyear defence spending bill and make it possible to guarantee the permanent cyber defence posture which aims to protect the ministry’s networks.The cyber defence posture is the responsibility of Cyber defence Command (COMCYBER). Created in 2017, COMCYBER is the operational entity that organically or functionally commands all the cyber defence units of the French armed forces. It is responsible for the protection and defence of information systems and the preparation, planning and conduct of military cyber defence operations, under the authority of the deputy chief of staff in charge of operations. COMCYBER also has responsibility for a human resources unit which is in charge of cooperation with the various ministry agencies. It should not be forgotten that, in addition to physical assets, one of the major challenges remains the recruitment and training of competent personnel.According to the ministry, COMCYBER exercises operational supervision over nearly 3,400 “cyber troops” within the ministry.To carry out its missions, it has its own leadership and authority over three joint force entities: CALID, CASSI and CPROC. CALID is the analysis centre for defensive cyber warfare. It represents the operational side, responding to any attacks or computer problems of a threatening nature.According to Engagement, it controls the detection, processing and response to cyber attacks 24 hours a day. Created in 2006, it is responsible for defending and ensuring the security of all digital systems. It is involved across the entire chain: from detection to reaction. Its purpose is also to ensure the conduct of the armed forces' operational missions. CASSI is the information system security audit centre. It carries out evaluations on both information


systems and compromising parasite signals. The emergence of these signals has gone hand in hand with the emergence of wireless terminals. These terminals, used for the transmission of information, produce electromagnetic disruptions that can be intercepted. It is then possible to reconstruct the information produced by the system. CASSI evaluates information systems during their development, before they enter service and in operation in order to detect potential security vulnerabilities that they may contain. The CRPOC centre is the HR component of cyber defence.The armed forces ministry describes it as “the major player in the recruitment and management of cyber defence reservists. It is also in charge of training headquarters staff, divisions and departments.” Today, however, there are multiple HR needs in the cyber domain. They “cover a wide range of activities and operational missions, from analysis to action, such as systems hardening, research, threat monitoring and anticipation, auditing, intrusion testing, information systems supervision and protection, compromise detection and research, digital investigation and social network monitoring, operational participation and engineering in support of operations,” says the ministry. FRENCH AIR FORCE EXPERTS.

The French Air Force has also taken steps to be able to deal with cyber threats, in order to protect itself and respond to attacks taking place in the digital domain. According to the ministry, the French Air Force has set up its own systems, placed under the authority of the general in charge of information and communication systems.The general relies on a series of expert centres and units working on a daily basis to protect the Air Force's systems, the ministry explains. More specifically, several expert units are involved in securing information systems by continuously monitoring and ana-

lysing IT and digital resources. They can also act as part of a Cyber Rapid Response Group, which can intervene when a malicious act is suspected on an Air Force system. These units include a cyber team at the CEAM Air Warfare Centre whose mission is to test information system security.The CEAM focuses on threat scenarios through a two-stage process.The anticipation stage aims to ensure system security, establish rules for safe operation and identify potential weaknesses. The detection stage focuses on threat detection and information system monitoring. The role of the CEAM is crucial in the sense that it is involved in the Air Force's major weapons programmes, such as the future Rafale standard or the new A330 MRTT in-flight refuelling aircraft. CEAM's cyber experts carry out a risk analysis on the equipment in order to ensure the security of the information systems as far in advance as possible. Thus, as the minister of the armed forces recalled in her speech of 18th January: “Cyber security must be addressed from the design stage in each weapon, information and communication system.”To this end, a deliverable in the form of a risk analysis is produced to verify that security objectives have been satisfied. This will be used by the DGA to warn manufacturers to ensure that system design is robust, explains the cyber team leader, who adds: “When the first deliverables are provided, cyber security audits are carried out at the manufacturers' premises, on the platforms, in order to draw up an initial picture of the system's cyber security. Contractors can then rectify the situation if deficiencies are identified.” In conducting system audits, the CEAM cyber team relies on a reference system composed of rules and recommendations issued by numerous state institutions (national information systems security agency, ministry of the armed forces, DGA). Corrective measures are suggested to manufacturers


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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 where security breaches have been identified.These audits are conducted frequently. Each time a new standard is developed, an audit is carried out. In parallel with these preventive actions, aimed at detecting vulnerabilities as early as possible, another type of audit is carried out during the programmatic phase to verify information system security.The objective is to validate the security of hardware and soft-

ware information systems. This audit is part of the certification process marking the end of the upstream security cycle. Its purpose is to assess the system's ability to meet requirements for operational employment under security constraints immediately prior to deployment in the armed forces. "To do this, we use the same guides and look at the reports of the different audits that have been carried out.We also study the ac-

tion plans that have been defined," explains the leader of the cyber team.Then, on the basis of these documents, the CEAM experts check compliance with operational needs and requirements. At the end of the audit, a report is prepared in which recommendations are prioritised. This document thus gives the person issuing the approval an exhaustive overview of the risks to enable him to reach a verdict on the abi-

lity of the system to process sensitive information with an adequate level of security. The CEAM cyber team consists of about 30 experts. Some of them are contract officers, trained in the civilian world.The rest of the staff are career officers. NCOs are trained at the Air Force training school for NCOs at Rochefort, in the information systems stream. In order to keep the team up to date on the latest techno-

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SPECIAL ISSUE logical developments and threats in cyber space, CEAM's experts carry out extensive technological intelligence. To maintain their level of practical technical expertise, they have also designed, in cooperation with other Air Force specialists, the Mars @ack digital challenge, which was held in Mont-de-Marsan on 6th March and was aimed both at promoting existing employment opportunities within the French Air Force

but also at discovering new cyber techniques within the civilian business community. RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING.

The EFSOAA (French Air Force NCO Training School) in Rochefort welcomes a large number of students who wish to specialise in cyber defence.This is the specialty that is seeing the largest increase in the number of students.



To accommodate them, EFSOAA has adapted its training resources and now has four modern network-connected rooms for simulations.The training provided by EFSOAA lasts four months, divided into four one-month modules.The first part of the training covers basic material to ensure that each specialist has the same knowledge base.The second phase focuses on theory, the main elements of cyber security languages and methods.The instructors explain how IT networks work. During the third month of training, the instructors will begin to deliver practical courses. Students will then be trained on operating systems such as Windows or Linux. Finally, a practical exercise is carried out to validate concepts and allow students to learn how to secure their messaging systems, transfer files and carry out secure digital manipulations.The different types of IT attacks are also studied. Training culminates with a workshop involving concrete simulations. Students must be able to ensure communications between systems and avoid or even counter the various simulated threats. In addition, a digital platform has been set up, which is frequently enhanced to allow non-commissioned officers to remain informed and access detailed content, in parallel with, and after completion of, their training.This support remains accessible once the student leaves Rochefort. Once these four months are over, the cyber student has an initial basic training, which will need to be enriched. For this reason, once posted to an air base, he will be mentored for six months, which will allow him to develop his skills in the field of cyber security and cyber defence. All non-commissioned officers trained at Rochefort participate in an awareness campaign aimed at educating them on methods and good practice to adopt for simple operations on the Internet.This represents 1,200 students per year. While initial training is provided within EFSOAA, the speed with which cyber threats evolve means

Air Force personnel must be continuously updated. In-service training sessions are therefore set up to familiarise them with the latest attack techniques and defensive manoeuvres. Whether for initial or further training, EFSOAA constantly adapts its teaching modules to best meet the needs of the armed forces and to be able to face new threats.“We train Air Force specialists who work in operational units. The latter draw up specifications according to the threats encountered and the foreseeable threats. Their supervisory command analyses and synthesises these different needs and proposes a reference framework describing the skills and competencies required. From there, we can set up the training programme for the experts they need.This iterative loop allows us to take into account the rapid evolution of this sector and to respond as accurately as possible to the expectations of the operational units,” explains General Manuel Alvarez, commanding officer of the EFSOAA in Rochefort. However, even if the armed forces acquire the capability to anticipate and respond to any cyber attack, increased collaboration and cooperation with the civilian community also needs to be encouraged. Indeed, these two worlds are not strictly distinct in cyber space and an attack in one of the environments will necessarily affect the other. “Current equipment under development is the result of the adoption of digital technologies for defence, but also of the emergence of mixed platforms (military and civil), capable of interconnecting battlefield systems and digital networks located outside the tactical environment,”Thales points out. Similarly,“air traffic management includes, for example, data that is increasingly digitised and distributed through an infrastructure network that connects both civil and military systems," explains Second Lieutenant Nathan Juglard in Penser les ailes françaises. ■ Justine Boquet

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SECTOR ON GUARD the extreme dIgItal complexIty that characterIses the entIre commercIal aIr transport sector vIrtually calls for a commandIng offIcer to take charge of preparatIons to effectIvely defend agaInst possIble cyber attacks. even If a major attack Is stIll hypothetIcal, the entIre sector must be prepared to deal wIth It.



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SPECIAL ISSUE ince the attacks of 11th September 2001, the air transport sector has adopted a large number of measures that have greatly reduced its vulnerability to conventional terrorist attacks. But paradoxically, this reinforcement could eventually shift the threat to another domain, cyberspace, a domain where increasing digitization at all levels of global air transport could also bring greater fragility. How can we protect ourselves as effectively as possible against cyber threats? This was the subject of a recent special report by the French Académie de l'Air et de l'Espace (Cyber-threats to air transport, AAE, Dossier #45, 2019). “Digitisation of the air transport sector, and in particular commercial transport aircraft, and the development of radio communications between aircraft and ground-based services, for air traffic management, operational control by airlines, monitoring the operation of on-board equipment, and for passenger access to the internet, have been accomplished without regulatory security measures against cyber attacks. This results in a large number of potential vulnerabilities that urgently need to be addressed,” says the AAE report.“A security effort, as large as the one implemented in 2001, must be urgently decided at the international level, and implemented very quickly on board airliners and on the ground,” the study recommends. This observation is clearly shared by many players in the sector. “Believing that air transport is safe from this kind of threat is like burying your head in the sand. This is a serious issue that we must address,” said Patrick Ky, Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in October 2015.“If one day it is proven that a cyber attack caused the loss of an aircraft, who in the following days will make the decision to put an aircraft back in the air,” asked Guillaume Poupard, Director General of ANSSI, the



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French information system security agency, in April 2018. Civil aviation is increasingly interconnected through modern means of communication (internet, in particular) that allow high connection speeds for passengers and crews. But the interwoven nature of the air transport sector (which resembles a system of systems), involving airliners, airlines, manufacturers, air navigation service providers, airports, maintenance providers, etc.) calls for a global approach on cyber security. And the openness of the systems significantly increases the attack surfaces of air transport. But, as rightly pointed out by the High-level Conference on Cybersecurity in Civil Aviation held in Krakow in November 2017, aviation safety and security must be addressed in a coordinated manner, as safety measures can impact security and vice versa. As the study points out, the installation of armoured cockpit doors, one of the measures implemented after the attacks of 11th September 2001, made it possible for the Germanwings accident of 2015 to occur. Cyber security measures, therefore, must not have a negative impact on air transport, which is already very safe. JAMMING, SPOOFING.

Potential cyber attacks could take many forms: jamming signal reception, spoofing with false data transmission (either on the ground or on board), with consequences that could be serious if there is no way to verify the availability, authenticity, integrity, confidentiality and traceability of information.These attacks could also affect operational software on board and on the ground, including the possible presence of malware, which could be introduced at different stages of an aircraft's life (e.g. during maintenance checks), or result in the interruption of airport information displays or the paralysis of air traffic. For the time being, such an attack has never taken place, but if it did, it could have disastrous consequences


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on passenger confidence in air transport. “Cyber security is a real issue,” says Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA (see page 32).“Our concern is not so much focused on the aircraft. Today aircraft are quite secure because they actually communicate from the cockpit to the ground and not the other way around.They send data, they don't receive any.The problem is more


airport disruptions. If you send a computer virus, and it spreads and passengers can no longer board the aircraft, you can create a huge disruption that is not necessarily critical but very damaging,” she adds. “So we work a lot with the airlines and airports to share best practice on cyber security and propose solutions. We need to know how the virus got into the system.There were

a few airports around the world that refused to switch to the latest versions of Windows, and there we contact them one by one to tell them that they can represent a danger for everyone else.” HACKERS.

As explained in the AAE report, potential cyber attackers can have various profiles.The first category consists of hackers who try to

penetrate operational systems to find vulnerabilities and get paid for it, or those who threaten to cause incidents if a ransom is not paid. Real cyber criminals are most often organised into gangs, with specific tasks and which are present in countries where digital protections are less stringent.Their motivation is financial gain. Cyber warriors or terrorists form the third category; they are most often


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Airbus Cyber Room at Elancourt

organized like a military force with the aim of causing serious accidents or incidents. To guard against cyber attacks, the Académie de l'Air et de l'Espace insists in its report on the need for fixed or adaptable protections, but also an organization and human processes that counter the attack with the correct tools adapted to the scale of the threat. It also recommends setting up a

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real security policy defined in advance: identification of entry pathways of attacks, mapping and characterising them, monitoring to quickly detect and identify attackers and attacks, updates of software that has come under attack through software patches, countermeasures to defeat the attack. For industry, the AAE recommends the implementation of


processes and techniques for cyber protection of manufacturers, equipment suppliers and subcontractors to achieve the same level of security as the information systems of the major contractors. For example, at Airbus, the design of the A380 generated a specific activity to develop specific standards and test the aircraft through attempted attacks designed and carried out by a team of hackers. Ditto for the A350 and neo versions of the A320 family. Airbus has also launched a €300m cyber protection campaign with audits internally and at suppliers. The manufacturer also imposes cyber security clauses on its Tier 1 subcontractors. Similarly, all operators involved in equipment maintenance on board and on the ground must be authorised and trained in cyber security procedures and audited. A policy for updating operational software must be defined and implemented by all stakeholders, with authorised personnel, specific and secure systems and secure procedures.The AAE also cautions that, in order to reduce costs, some operators tend to use low-grade software. Aircraft upgrade and maintenance operations need to be closely monitored, as they are an easy entry point for human action that can corrupt hardware and data, and introduce malware. Close attention must also be paid to voice communications and ground-air/air-ground data links, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems, personal equipment of passengers and crew (smartphones, tablets, etc.), and ground data links. For example,Airbus provides each customer airline with a Security Handbook for maintenance of embedded software, which must be applied throughout the operational life of the systems. This document also serves as a guide for regular security audits. In general, the cockpit is well protected, especially on the most recent aircraft, thanks in particular to a succession of barriers and intrusion filters. On the other hand, IFE systems are more vulnerable to cyber attacks and must

therefore follow cyber security rules to protect system operation and passenger data and be able to be shut down quickly. In view of their evolving characteristics, compliance with secure conditions must be regularly monitored. For IFE updates, it is recommended to use two-way procedures requiring a second password to complete software loading — a system that is already used for bank payments on the internet. Similarly, the software, data and internet connections of Electronic Flight Bags and other electronic tablets used by pilots and/or cabin crew must be secured. SEGREGATION.

The AAE report also recalls the principle whereby communications between the aircraft and the ground must be clearly "segregated" or separated between the different uses (cockpit, cabin and passenger connections). Domain segregation should allow control of data flow through firewalls or secure data exchange gateways. The rule is to transmit information from the most critical sector (cockpit) to the least critical without restriction, but to prohibit, or authorise only under certain conditions, transfers in the other direction (backflow filter). Passenger data links (smartphones or tablets) are normally completely separate from operational links, but the separation is increasingly being questioned by some airlines that take advantage of the high bandwidth to transmit aircraft system operating data. Attacks on IFEs are also possible in an attempt to recover personal information (passwords, credit card codes...) or create panic on board by displaying false information on cabin screens. The authenticity, availability and integrity of voice communications and data links along the entire chain must be ensured. In the end, it is up to the crew to check the consistency of the data, hence the need for appropriate procedures: always verify remotely transmitted data.The report notes that this requirement is a factor


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The interconnected nature of the air transport sector calls for a global approach to cyber security. weighing against current suggestions that a single pilot would be sufficient in commercial transport aircraft. Because of the potential risks of cyber attacks, the report recommends keeping two pilots in the cockpit for some time to come. With regard to radio navigation, to guard against the non-availability or non-integrity of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Sys-


tem) positioning information, it is necessary to implement upgrades to the SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) and GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System).ADS/B (Automatic Dependant Surveillance/Broadcast) is a key component of the SESAR and NextGen upgraded air traffic management system programmes and thanks to this system, data is permanently transmitted by the

aircraft's transponder without the need for the aircraft to be interrogated by secondary ground radars. It is thanks to ADS/B that sites such as Flight Radar 24 can track of commercial aircraft. But attackers could potentially generate information from “fake” planes or fake ground positions through spoofing. ICAO therefore recommends that States take risk reduction measures.The ADS/B

standard is set to evolve to improve its level of protection, for example through data authentication or encryption. Blockchain technology could be adapted to enhance the protection of ADS/B communication data. As a reminder, the blockchain is a transparent, secure information storage and transmission technology that operates without a central controlling body.


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By extension, a blockchain is a database that contains the history of all exchanges between its users since its creation.This database is secure and distributed: it is shared by its various users, without intermediaries, which allows everyone to check the validity of the chain. A year ago, Boeing announced a patent for a positioning

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data protection system based on blockchain technology.A NASA research centre has also developed a prototype called “Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure”.The purpose of this invention is to provide the most secure method of communication possible between aircraft and air traffic control services or any other stakeholder, based on an enhanced authorisation and authentication system.


The use of ATM-specific voice messages between pilots and controllers could help to mitigate the risk.The Académie de l’Air et de l’Espace believes that further risk analysis would be needed, possibly leading to additional layers of surveillance, before switching to ADS/B as the primary surveillance system. Total protection does not exist — there will always be gaps in the interconnected aviation infrastructure: the question is not whether there will be attacks but rather when. Air transport must therefore become more cyber resilient. The objective is that the risk should be “as low as reasonably practicable”. Systems AND human operators need to develop control capabilities, to know exactly what to do when an incident occurs and, of course, to be able to react immediately. It is necessary to able to detect “weak signals” that can precede cyber incidents, denial of service or attacks. Potential events must be analysed in order to estimate their probability of occurrence. It is also important to raise awareness among personnel, not only in times of crisis, and not to forget aspects such as organisation, approvals and training. Each aviation stakeholder must exercise surveillance, supervision and control through regular audits. SITA — whose main focus is on improving passenger flows at airports — is at the forefront of data protection efforts.“We have two centres in Montreal and Singapore that constantly monitor possible attacks on networks.We must remain humble on these subjects, but we monitor, share and exchange information with a ‘club’ of airlines.We are proactive and this can lead to threats to ‘cut off’ access to networks,” explains Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA. RISK ANALYSIS.

Airbus also carries out systematic risk analyses based on a list of potential cyber attacks.Air FranceKLM has an information systems cyber security division that aims

to maintain high resilience in the face of probable attacks in order to avoid disruptions or delays and, above all, damage to the airline’s image. All the group’s activities are covered: airline operations, engineering, maintenance, cargo, commercial. "Beyond blockchain, there are security and authentication systems that protect data. You can never be 100% sure, but it provides very effective security," Dalibard confirms.At Heathrow Airport, SITA has trialled the Flight Chain service, which provides unique, valid information on a given flight. Instead of having several sets of information about a flight (provided by the airport or the airline, and which may be different), the use of blockchain ensures that data is shared in a reliable and neutral way. The AAE report states that it is essential that certified air transport stakeholders be obliged to systematically report, share and process cyber incidents. In France, it is the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information (ANSSI) and the European Centre for Cybersecurity in Aviation (ECCSA), created in 2017 under the aegis of EASA, which monitor threats, analyse them, characterise them and share them. Another very encouraging initiative in France is the establishment in April 2018 of the Conseil pour la cybersécurité du Transport aérien (CCTA), under the authority of the DGAC.This body brings together all the French stakeholers in the aviation sector and could also make it possible to cooperate between civil and military aviation to harmonise certain cyber security measures. Another key recommendation is to develop a global, harmonised regulatory framework for civil aviation cyber security as part of a global management system (covering safety and security). According to the Académie de l’Air et de l’Espace report, ICAO would be the most appropriate body to lead and coordinate worldwide activities involved in reinforcing cyber security in civil aviation. ■ Jean-Baptiste HEGUY


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Could you briefly present SITA, its activities, number of employees and sales figures? SITA is a cooperative organisation that was created almost 70 years ago by a group of European airlines. Today, SITA is owned by nearly 400 international airlines, shareholders who have joined forces to better manage data exchanges between the various players in the aviation system. This stems from a common desire to find a way to connect all airports, including those that are a difficult to access, and to share these connections. It was very forward-thinking on the part of the creators of SITA.Today, we have just under 5,000 employees, from 140 different nationalities. We are present in more than 200 countries, sometimes as subcontractors. We have $1.7bn in annual sales. And you are based in Geneva? This is very interesting because our headquarters are in Geneva, with the structure of a quasi NGO, a cooperative. As a "nonprofit" company, we must redistribute the profits to the airlines. The cooperative is a structure under Belgian law and our "commercial arm" is a Dutch company. So we have three pillars: Geneva for international relations, where I am based, a cooperative under Belgian law and a Dutch commercial company. Does the geographical proximity with IATA headquarters make life easier? Absolutely. If I want to see [IATA Director

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General and CEO] Alexandre de Juniac, I can walk over to his office! Are you working as part of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and innovation in Europe? We work mainly with IATA and CANSO [the Civil Aviation Navigation Services Organisation], which focuses on international air traffic management issues. We are not members of ACARE, but we are interested in their activity.

“ Our Research and Development teams are doing a lot of work on Blockchain.” What types of partnership are you involved in? IATA, for example, sets industry standards such as Resolution 753, which standardises baggage tracking at each stage of the journey. Our role is to implement solutions that allow airports and airlines to manage baggage tracking as efficiently as possible, and to comply with the "rules" defined by IATA. We are therefore a kind of "enforcer", even

if we are not the only ones, for the implementation of these standards.We do a lot of work to establish in advance what types of standards can work. Today, IATA is recommending RFID (radio frequency identification) solutions to track luggage with special tags. We have carried out many tests and it works. We also conducted these tests with smart cameras to identify the baggage and its label. At the end of the day, what is the best solution? It varies, depending on the airport, infrastructure costs, etc.We therefore work a lot with IATA on the development of standards.They have also launched a project called "One ID".This allows a single passenger identification using biometric data, and means the passenger can be tracked along his or her journey.We are already working a lot on biometrics and on systems for airports and airlines to facilitate boarding and passenger screening. So we will continue to work with IATA to establish a single worldwide standard, if possible. Do you always work in concertation? We regularly initiate projects.We can be in the lead on a topic, test it, and then, stakeholders in the air transport industry might say "Well, that's interesting".Then it is up to use for us to generalise it. For example, our Research and Development teams are doing a lot of work on Blockchain, because we think it is well suited to what we want to do with the airlines. What are the areas you are mainly focused on in general?


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Our core business is to use new technologies to improve the efficiency of airlines and airports, and globally of all the stakeholders in the air transport system, both at the airport and in the aircraft. We actually have two businesses: one that is very focused on the airport and another, which is historically concerned with the aircraft and the cockpit.At the airport, our main areas of action are: issuing boarding passes with common standards for all airlines worldwide; tracking baggage worldwide, with 70% of baggage flows handled by SITA, i.e. billions of data exchanges per year; designing automatic baggage drop-off systems for passengers; and installing biometric portals that will improve the fluidity of passenger movements at the airport.... For baggage drop-off, you mention automatic systems that we already see in certain airports? There can be all kinds of systems. For ours, the passenger arrives and prints out his baggage tag himself, sticks on the tag and checks in his suitcase with a scanner, before it goes into the system as usual.This


“OUR CORE BUSINESS IS TO USE NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS” significantly reduces queues at the airport. We therefore use automation a lot to improve fluidity, but also to simplify the process and speed up all passenger movements within the airport.Airports today face a real challenge — we are preparing for a 100% increase in air traffic over the next 20 years, according to IATA data.Airports are subject to many constraints, sometimes in an unfavourable environment, and their capacity

will certainly not increase at the same pace. The challenge, therefore, is to provide systems that will both facilitate the passenger experience and help airports be more efficient.All the systems for managing queues, allocating boarding gates more smoothly, and speeding up aircraft boarding thanks to biometrics, have a role to play. For example, in Orlando, it is possible to fully board a 240-seat British Airways aircraft in ten


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SPECIAL ISSUE minutes. Achieving significant time savings, for the passenger, for the airline and for the airport, greatly improves fluidity. You are also working to improve baggage traceability? Absolutely. It is always a source of stress for the passenger to know where his luggage is. For a major European airline, for example, we have set up APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that connect to the airline's information systems to inform passengers.The airline has therefore developed a baggage tracking application, with which a passenger can know the exact position of his or her baggage using the data that SITA provides to the airline.We possess 70% of the data on mishandled baggage, thanks to our WorldTracer solution. So we can do the same for each airline... without being visible as such to passengers.

Some airlines, like Delta Airlines, have launched their own tracking solutions to monitor baggage flows. But when there are connecting flights with other airlines, the use of different systems can be a problem. The "critical mass" for worldwide baggage tracking will be achieved when the majority of airports and airlines have systems that communicate with each other. This is the purpose of IATA Resolution 753. It requires that the baggage be tracked in four stages: at checkin, loading onto the aircraft, delivery to the transfer area, and arrival on the baggage carousel at the destination airport. It must be traceable at any time, and if it gets lost, its owner must be able to identify its last position. Real-time information allows us to improve the system. It should be noted, for example, that not all airports achieve the same level of performance in baggage handling.Tracking makes

it possible to launch targeted corrective actions. In addition, having a connecting flight also increases the risk of baggage mishandling. Real-time tracking also helps to avoid errors. And what is the latest news on biometric screening systems for passenger boarding? Instead of interacting with a member of staff, showing a boarding pass, waiting for it to be scanned, etc... the passenger walks forward and is photographed, which takes two seconds per passenger for identity verification and recognition, making the pathway much more fluid. We have tested our biometric identification solution with JetBlue, thanks to which the "selfie" becomes the passport, to go through security checks.Today, the system is used in Orlando and Miami international airports. So we are working hard on airport effi-

ciency, the efficiency of operations and the fluidity of the passenger pathway.What is also interesting is that, according to several studies, the more autonomous passengers are, the more satisfied they are. Automated systems ensure greater customer satisfaction: in 2018, 23% of users were satisfied with such systems, compared with 2.2% for travellers who selected traditional processes. By using these technologies, human resources can be redeployed to assist people in need of help, people with disabilities, families and the elderly. You said that SITA is also present in the cockpit? We have shared systems for aircraft, airports, air navigation... It started with real-time aircraft tracking, including ACARS (Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System), for which SITA is the world leader.

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 And today, we are developing applications for pilots and co-pilots that are also based on data exchange. For example, eWAS — EFB (Electronic Flight Bag)Weather Awareness Solution — informs the pilot in real time of turbulence and optimises the routes to be flown, by combining global weather services with the experience of other aircraft.We are also developing on-board Wi-Fi through our SITAONAIR unit.We are currently working with Emirates and Qatar Airways.

So you are a global player in datasharing for the air transport sector? Yes, and this expertise opens up new avenues for us. For example, we have just signed a partnership with Rolls-Royce, which will use SITA solutions to collect data from their aero-engines. We enrich this basic data by providing Rolls-Royce with weather data, on the location of the aircraft, on events at specific times (was the aircraft crossing a zone

And so you can offer predictive maintenance solutions? Yes, but not strictly "maintenance". We are moving more towards "prediction" for airports. For example, we have entered into a partnership with Changi Airport in Singapore, which had concerns about anticipating flight landing times due to difficult weather conditions.We therefore set up artificial intelligence systems with them, based on seven different algorithms coupled with weather data, as well as infor-



of turbulence, etc...). Rolls-Royce recovers this data, enabling it to improve the operation of its engines, in the interest of all airlines. And our status as a neutral player allows RollsRoyce to offer services to all air carriers, tailored to each airline and their needs, in order to encourage them to change, for example, their maintenance procedures or even their industrial processes. Engineers at RollsRoyce can then study the "reactions" of their engines, depending on the operating conditions and can thus adjust individual parameters.



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SPECIAL ISSUE mation gathered in flight, etc.We are now able to predict the arrival time of an aircraft six hours before landing, with a confidence interval of ten minutes.This allows Changi Airport to position personnel at border controls at the right time to deal with an influx of passengers, to manage the allocation of boarding gates in a more intelligent way, and to optimise the overall operation of the airport. As we analysed the data, we realized that one of the key elements was the wind direction which determines the landing.The allocation of boarding gates may not be optimal: for example, aircraft have to make a long detour instead of going directly to the nearest gate.Wind direction can therefore have a real impact on aircraft delays and airport efficiency.This data, obtained through artificial intelligence, can be very useful.We also acquired MEXIA Interactive, a Canadian-based company that can "predict" the length of queues, at airports, car parks and for boarding.We intend to integrate this tool into our airport management system, to be able to provide airports with even more accurate data on the management of their passenger flows. So you are tending to focus your activites more sharply? Our size does not reflect the magnitude of our global influence. Our major complexity is to be present in more than 200 countries, to have the status of an NGO and a commercial company in a multitude of activities, at the same time. One of my objectives was to reduce the portfolio of activities to focus on areas where we have the greatest relevance and thus prioritise our R&D resources. Our core business focuses on how to make the passenger pathway more fluid, by improving operations at the airport and for the aircraft. In terms of air transport connectivity, how would you rank France

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and Europe compared with the rest of the world? In countries where air transport is growing, such as the Middle East or some Asian countries, there are opportunities to reinvent the airport completely.Whether it is for the new airport in Istanbul, where we are a major player, Doha airport, the new airport in Oman or Terminal 4 in Changi (Singapore); when you start with a blank sheet of paper, you can immediately give a high priority to new technologies. In comparison, there are more constraints at French airports, even if these technologies are already available at Roissy CDG for example. One can build very beautiful airports, from the aesthetic point of view but which are not very practical from the

we saw earlier that automation is highly correlated with passenger autonomy and satisfaction levels. In one year, the number of automated passport control systems has almost doubled in airports, and we note that the satisfaction rate of passengers who have used these automated systems to verify their identity was 3.85% higher than those who were checked by security personnel. This is a source of comfort for the passenger. It should also be remembered that every minute of time saved in queues represents $0.7 of additional consumption in duty-free shops. So for the airport, from an economic point of view, there is an incentive to optimise the system. What we need to focus on, therefore, is waiting times because people are less and less tolerant of having to stand

“ Our size does not reflect the magnitude of our global influence.” passenger's point of view or vice versa.The topology of the airport, therefore, plays a role, but there is no reason not to be able to integrate biometrics in European airports. It is also possible to coordinate the various stakeholders to significantly improve the fluidity and efficiency of systems. At Zurich Airport, for example, we have supplied management systems that greatly improve aircraft taxi times, which can practically be divided by two, which is enormous.Aircraft use less fuel, thanks to systems that can be installed anywhere. By avoiding sending an aircraft to join a queue for a busy runway, we optimise the entire system. Looking at the whole passenger experience, do you see any areas where more work is needed? If we look at the entire chain,


in line. It is good for the passenger, good for the airport and good for the airline: the faster you board, the more a company can improve its aircraft utilisation rate. A huge portion of a company's operating costs is related to the non-use of an aircraft because it is on the ground. The best Low Cost airlines manage to turn around their aircraft in 15 minutes...There is a virtuous circle linking all the stakeholders in the chain and this is where SITA can bring value. Nonetheless, there is also the problem of data protection and protection of privacy … My vision is that this subject must be strictly regulated. In Europe, if we acquire biometric data on passengers, we have an obligation to destroy this data after a certain time.There must

be agreements between States on this point.As a company operating worldwide, SITA complies with the data protection regulations of each country in which it operates, as well as with international regulations in force. As a result, we continually review our procedures and practices to ensure they are consistent with the different markets. Cyber security is a real issue.We therefore work closely with all airlines and airports to share best practice on cyber security and propose solutions. Do you protect the data that you use? Yes, of course.We have security systems for that. We have two centres in Montreal and Singapore that constantly monitor possible attacks on networks.We must remain humble on these subjects, but we monitor, we share, we exchange with a "club" of airlines.We are proactive and this can lead us to "threaten" certain players who do not respect the rules to cut them off from the networks for the good of everyone. Could blockchain be a useful tool in this respect? Absolutely. On an average trip, a passenger can use the services of more than 20 different stakeholders — airlines, airports, supervisory authorities — who must all work together to ensure that the journey runs smoothly. Blockchain is one of the technologies that allows all these entities to work better by sharing information in complete security. For this reason, SITA is continuing to work with the entire industry to explore potential uses for Blockchain and is investing in infrastructure to accelerate research on the viability of running multi-enterprise applications using this technology. Our "Aviation Blockchain Sandbox" already includes more than 40 airlines, airports and ground service providers. ■ Interview by Jean-Baptiste Heguy


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Our test pilot, Greg Cellier, next to the A330neo’s Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine.



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ur appointment with Airbus at the end of March was the occasion for one of these famous marathon days of which Airbus has the secret as we tested the latest addition to the European manufacturer's product line in order to evaluate what it brings to the market. The context was somewhat special — even though there are signs of recovery in the air transport sector, the long-haul low-cost airlines are suffering and some, such as Primera Air and WOW, have fallen by the wayside.. As usual, we had initial commercial and technical briefings in the morning, meeting the test crew in the late morning for a briefing on the flight scheduled for that afternoon. Crawford Hamilton, head of marketing and customer relations for the A330 family, explained how Airbus is seeking to meet the needs of the market while introducing innovations and reducing costs. By developing the A350,Airbus had decided to compete head-on with the Boeing 777300ER. By completely refreshing the A330, already a great commercial success and developing the A330neo (A330-800 and -900), Airbus is targeting the heart of the 260/330-seat long-



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haul and very long-haul market, competing directly with the older Boeing 777-200ER and the 787-9. Aircraft in this segment are in high demand because they are particularly adapted to today’s market needs. To achieve this, the A330neo project was built around a new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine delivering 68,000-72,000lb of thrust, with a fan 15% wider than that of the Trent 700 on the original A330, a bypass ratio multiplied by two and the latest technologies of the Trent XWB family — all of which adds up to fuel savings of 11% compared to the conventional A330. Airbus also developed a completely new wing featuring a 4m increase in span, at 64m (remaining within code E category) developed on the basis of a high-speed profile with wingtip “sharklet” devices resembling those on the A350, optimised inboard slats and reshaped flap track fairings. This wing — a marvel of aerodynamic design — generates fuel savings of 4% (on a 4,000nm route compared to the conventional A330 wing). The integration of these major design changes by the Airbus design and test teams has resulted in a reduction of 12% in fuel consumption per trip compared to the conventional A330 (equipped with Trent 772B engines), which equates


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E. H





The neo version of the A330 features a more robust landing gear.

to major fuel savings fleet-wide. In comparison, fuel consumption per trip is even lower than for the Boeing 787-9, with more passengers (287 seats in three-class configuration). The A330neo cockpit, behind its typical "A330-style" appearance, incorporates the advanced features and functions of the A350 cockpit. In addition to two optional head-up


devices, the A330neo offers the latest developments in terms of precision navigation allowing new types of approach (RNP-AR), an advanced collision avoidance system (AP/FD TCAS), a runway overrun prevention system, and a WiFi-enabled electronic flight bag to transmit real-time navigation information. Maintenance operations will be revolutio-

nised by the FDIMU (Flight Data Instruction and Maintenance Unit) and FOMAX (Flight Ops and Maintenance eXchange) systems, which allow dialogue and automatic transmission of 40,000 parameters and more than 30GB of data per flight thanks to a real-time connection anywhere in the world and ensure fine-tuned predictive maintenance and the optimisation of flight operations by improving fleet performance. François Kubica, A330/340 family VP Chief Engineer, explains that in addition to these modifications, a comprehensive weight reduction effort has made it possible to lighten the structure as much as possible by using more composite materials for the fuselage and by working on a new interior and cabin to compensate for the modifications due to the integration of the new wing and engines and the installation of more robust, but heavier, landing gear (main gear and reinforced nose wheel). All of these changes add up to a saving of more than 9 tonnes on Maximum Take Off Weight, giving the A330-900 an MTOW of 251t, while extending range by 650nm in the process. Aircraft MSN1967 is dedicated to testing in this area and will be the first production aircraft to offer 251t MTOW, i.e. a 9 tonne gain, with certification expected by mid-2020. From the outset, Airbus teams conducted their tests by working like the companies using the Airline 1 concept that had been used on the A350 programme: all test flights were conducted in an operational airline-type environment to ensure the maturity and availability of the aircraft as close as possible to real situations. The A330neo programme was launched in 2014, and the three A330-900 test aircraft made their first flights in October 2017,achieving EASA certification on 26th September 2018 after 1,400 flight hours. Certification of the A330-800, which first flew on 6th November 2018 (MSN 1888), is expected in the second half of 2019. A total of 160 hours of testing had been completed by the end of March — half of the total certification programme. Five A330-900s have been delivered to launch customer TAP of Portugal, which began operating them on 20th March from Lisbon to Brazil (Sao Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte).As of the end of March, the aircraft had logged more than 300 commercial flights and more than 2,500 flight hours. The first machine delivered (MSN1836), had completed more than 140 commercial flights and more than 1,300 flight hours. The aircraft are in service on average 12 hours a day (an advantage for long haul operations) and the results achieved have validated


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SPECIAL ISSUE fuel savings data as well as aircraft availability, which gives a measure of programme maturity. The order book is filling up quickly and aircraft are starting to come off the assembly line for the first customers:TAP, Delta,Aircalin, AirAsiaX, Garuda, AirSenegal, Arkia, Kuwait airways, to name but a few. The A330neo is also popular with leasing companies who have many customers for the aircraft, including Corsair,Azul, LionAir, HiFly,AirMauritius and RwandAir. Additional major contracts can be expected at this year’s Paris Air Show... BRIEFING.

We met up with our flight crew in the large conference room in the Airbus flight test team building. Thierry Bourges, who was initially scheduled to be our captain had just landed after a test flight and announced that he would not be able to fly with us. He nevertheless took a few minutes to answer my questions about the flight controls, for which he had responsibility on the programme. The major modifications of the A330neo (new heavier engines, new wing...) required special attention to the fly by wire flight controls in order to maintain the characteristics of the A330 series. Bourges explained that the work consisted in refining the control laws in pitch and roll for certain flight phases and that the result is up to expectations with handling similar to that of the convention A330 along with greater precision. To prevent tail strikes, an open loop protection has been included in the flight control software and, taking advantage of experience from the A350, the "de-rotation" laws of the conventional A330 have been modified to provide maximum commonality in terms of pilot sensations. We met up for a quick bite to eat with our Captain for the flight, Airbus test pilotThomasWilhelm, assisted by Jean-Philippe Cottet, a flight test engineer with whom I had already flown several times,

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and another test engineer, Laurent Girard.Also on the flight on A330800 MSN 1888 were François Kubica and members of the Airbus media and communications team. The pre-flight briefing covered all the main parameters: an empty weight of 134,800kg, plus 48,000kg of fuel for a takeoff weight of 182 500kg (300kg for taxiing and APU) with a centre of gravity at 32%; we anticipate takeoff on runway 32L at Toulouse Blagnac in dry conditions at Flap 2 and "FLEX" thrust setting and a fictitious temperature of 50° (along with a reduction in takeoff N1 to preserve engine potential) withV1 (decision speed at takeoff) 137kt,VR (speed at rotation)137 kt and V2 (takeoff safety speed)145 kt. Following start-up, taxiing, takeoff and climb to altitude, our programme included manoeuvres to check the handling and general behaviour of the aircraft.We would increase speed towardsVmo (maximum operating speed) of 330kt, reduce speed using the speed brakes (spoilers located on the upper surface of the wings) while continuing to perform manoeuvres and then decelerate in clean configuration below VLS towards "Alpha max" to verify that this speed is the minimum speed for the aircraft under normal flight control law and that the "Alpha Prot" system adequately protects the aircraft from stalling at high angle of attack. We would then do the same in the approach configuration and check the aircraft's ability to re-accelerate rapidly. We would then return to Toulouse to make an instrument approach and check the aircraft’s behaviour in traditional service conditions, followed by landing, taxiing to the hold point on runway 32L for another takeoff, followed by a visual circuit, weather conditions permitting, and finally a complete landing and taxiing to our parking point. Wilhelm placed special emphasis on the safety aspects of each flight phase, particularly takeoff and landing. On completion of the briefing, we made our way towards MSN


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The cockpit is almost identical to the conventional A330.

1888 which was waiting for us outside the building. We did a quick walk around and a tour of the cabin.The aircraft was filled with test equipment, apart from five central rows of seats at the front, a galley section and a toilet. The cockpit was almost identical to that of a conventional A330 and closely resembled the A320 flight deck. I strapped myself into the left seat and quickly found my bearings, including seat and armrest adjustments.Wilhelm explained the flight procedure. TAKEOFF.

Together we entered the FMS parameters: departure, arrival, route with 2 points in the zone in which we are planned to fly, flight level FL220 planned as well


as the aircraft and fuel weights determining ourTOW (Take Off Weight), characteristic speeds and the type of initial climb we wished to follow (in this case a reducednoise departure for areas close to the runway threshold). We then moved on to the prestartup guide which I followed, thenWilhelm read out the checklist before startup via the ECAM and, after confirming with the ground agent that all departure procedures have been completed and after receiving clearance from ATC, I released the parking brake, and we commenced pushback and started engine 2 (right engine) then engine 1 (left). The startups are quite standard and apart from different temperatures for the EGT and some details, we could have been in a

conventional A330. Configured at Flaps 2 having performed the checklists after start-up and before taxiing, with the tractor and push bar disengaged, we are cleared to taxi to the threshold of runway 32L.The tiller sensations are similar in every way to the conventional A330 and the flight deck is lower than on the A350.The length of the A330-800 (58.82m) does not require over-steering for turns of 90° and more. IN FLIGHT.

After completing the pre-takeoff checklist and safety briefing, we align ourselves and alert the cabin that takeoff is imminent. I smoothly advance the power levers past the first notch to the FLEX setting, read the FMA (Flight mode annunciator located

at the top of my Primary Flight Display) and apply lateral control with the rudder pedals during the takeoff run.We reach 100kt in about 20 seconds and at V1 I remove my hands from the power levers because from this point on we will fly even if an engine failure occurs.AtVR, the display shows 15° of pitch with a rate of 2 to 3 degrees per second, and I can immediately see the ease of displaying pitch commands via the sidestick controller. Going back to an Airbus-type sidestick from the yoke on the aircraft I currently fly with, is not really confusing and I appreciate the ease of control. Wilhelm offered to raise the gear and at 1,500ft/ground we reduced thrust to Climb (CLB) and continued the climb between V2+10 and V2+20 towards


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SPECIAL ISSUE 3000ft/ground, at which point we accelerated to raise the flaps. Once in clean configuration, we resumed the climb and I called for the checklist after takeoff, which Wilhelm executed. We passed the transition altitude and switched our three altimeters to standard while I continued to hand fly the aircraft. Pitch commands were a pleasure with the sidestick, and the automatic trim maintained attitude.There were no surprises in banks and turns and no induced effects. I found the roll-out from the turn to be more precise than my recollections of Airbus flight controls. I stabilised at FL220 at 250kt and once in the Pamiers zones controlled by the flight test team, I initiated turning manoeuvres to get the feel of the aircraft. Roll behaviour was also very flexible with a return to 33° when I released the sidestick beyond this angle.Turns of 45° and more required closer attention, but autotrim was a valuable aid to increase precision.The exit from the turn

is precise if one anticipates according to the desired angle and heading.Turn sequences and reversing the direction of turn were a pleasure and did not pose any problems. Wilhelm then set speed to 330kt (or M.86 MMO) which is the maximum operating limit speed. I continued executing turns in this flight regime without feeling any differences in sensations or precision. In order to reduce speed, I activated the speedbrakes by pulling the sidestick all the way back, which raises pairs of spoilers on the upper surface of the wings.This triggered a slight buffeting without any other effects and the speed dropped very quickly to 250kt. I engaged the autopilot and then began a reduced descent to FL180 to check protections at low speeds.To do this we would check the effect of the "Alpha protection" system (Alpha being the angle of attack) which prevents the angle of attack from reaching extreme values at which the wing

could stall.This system relies on the flight control software based on data from the aircraft's angle of attack probes. If a limit value for the angle of attack is detected, the software will force a reduction in pitch attitude and therefore a decrease in the angle of attack and will order full thrust on both engines even if the autothrottle (A/THR) is disconnected.This system has been designed to prevent stalling but also to ensure optimal flight control performance in an emergency (e.g. wind shear). We started to reduce speed while retaining a clean configuration. I disconnected the autothrottle and the speed initially dropped toVLS (lowest selectable speed) then continued to slow to Valpha Prot (indicated on the speed scale on our primary flight displays PFDs) and decreasing speed just below it. At that stage I was applying full back stick to pitch up, with the aircraft at maximum angle of attack and a stable speed just belowValpha Prot but above the activation point for the

Alpha floor protection. With a rate of climb of approximately 1000ft/min, the aircraft remained perfectly controllable in roll. To get out of this low speed domain, I moved the throttle levers to the CLB (Climb) detent in order to obtain sufficient thrust to regain speed by reducing the angle of attack. On reaching Alpha floor, even with the thrust levers full back and autothrottle disconnected, the engines would deliver maximum thrust (MAX THRUST) to recover from this critical angle of attack and low speed. In stable flight at FL180 at Green Dot speed (best lift/drag speed in clean configuration), I reduced speed so as to extend the flaps in Full position and lower the landing gear, bringing us down towards the approach speed (VLS+5) of 147kt.AtWilhelm's signal, to perform an emergency avoidance manoeuvre, I applied full backstick to raise the nose followed by a hard turn to the left and then maintained my inputs.Speed drop-

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Modifications with respect to the conventional A330 add up to a 9t reduction in MTOW.

ped towardsValpha max while remaining above Alpha floor and the aircraft achieved best performance in this emergency situation. To get out of this flight regime I had to reduce the angle of attack and rely on engine power to regain speed without significant loss of altitude in order to raise the landing gear and then accelerate for retraction of the flaps. BACK TO TOULOUSE.

We carried out a cruise-type check to verify system integrity and loaded an ILS 32R into the FMS for our return to Toulouse. Wilhelm had me line up late on runway 32R in order to hand fly the aircraft.We talked briefly about the approach and landing (flare at about 20ft) with a LOW auto-brake which, on a dry surface, would allow us to quickly


Cellier (left) with Airbus test pilot Thomas Wilhelm.


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turn off the runway onto taxiway S6 and taxi back to the runway threshold. After performing the Descent checklist, I started a reduced descent (Idle Des) from FL180 using the auto-pilot.After quickly reaching 4,000ft with radar guidance and the Approach checklist completed, I regained manual control to follow radar guidance to the final ILS.The flight controls were precise on all axes and the aircraft was a real pleasure to fly.We intercepted the Runway 32R Localizer as we decelerated towards Green Dot speed and I quickly corrected my overshoot with very little roll. The A330-800 has a lift/drag ratio as good as, or better than, its predecessors and I lowered the landing gear before starting the descent so as not to use speedbrakes for stability. Under these conditions with flaps in position 3 and gear down, around 1,400ft above the ground, Wilhelm requested a "sidestep" to runway 32L for a 32L landing.With ATC clearance, I turned away from the axis of 32R with a bank angle of around 20° to align us quickly and precisely with the axis of 32L. We finished configuring Full flaps, performed the pre-landing checklist and are stable at around 700ft/ground.A slight flare around 30ft and we touched down smoothly thanks to the "positive tilt" of the main gear bogies.The LOW auto-brake deceleration with the thrust reversers was flexible and allowed us, as planned, to comfortably turn onto S6 before returning to the 32L hold point for another takeoff. We reconfigured the aircraft for takeoff in Flaps 2 configuration while checking the brake temperature which was not too high. The Brake fan cooling system is very useful in these circumstances. We calculated our new takeoff speeds for a takeoff weight reduced to 176 tonnes. With the favourable conditions of late March, the aircraft was a pleasure to do this exercise while hand flying the aircraft. In just three minutes we reached the

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end of the downwind branch and I asked Wilhelm for gear down and flap configuration 3 before starting the final turn. The head-up display (HUD) similar to that on the 350, which will be an option on the A330neo, will be a valuable aid for tired pilots arriving from a night flight on visual approach. Now on our final approach to 32L, we extended the flaps to Full and went through the pre-landing checklist, stabilising at 500ft/ground. I started the flare around 60ft and confirmed my beginner's luck on the previous landing as the aircraft glided a little more than I would have liked. I put it on the runway a little roughly, I must admit. Using manual braking and the thrust reversers, however, we had no difficulty turning onto S6. We taxied to the Airbus parking areas while carrying out the post-landing guide and checklist. WIDEBODY FAMILY.

Patrick du Ché, head of flight and integration tests, asked me for my impressions on the latest member of the Airbus family.The machine is superb and, as a famous French manufacturer said, flies very well but, beyond that, the savings it will ensure constitute a strong argument given current fuel prices. The commonalities between the A330neo series and the A350 will allow companies to rationalise achieve savings in many areas through multi-fleet operations. In addition, the different variants (A330-800/-900, A350-900/1000) are particularly well positioned and correspond precisely with airline requirements. Over the coming months and years we will see how the market responds to the arrival of the neos (A320,A321 and now A330) and what changes these aircraft will bring for charter and low-cost operators as well as for the traditional airlines. The superb wing of the A330neo will be a pleasure to see on our runways for many ■ Greg Cellier years to come.



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Long-rAnge Twin

A350 XwB:

A fAmiLy AffAir

The Airbus A350 XWb hAs noW reAched full mATuriTy, WiTh close on 900 firm orders under iTs belT. on The occAsion of Airbus’ 50Th birThdAy, We look bAck AT The origins of The progrAmme, hoW The design evolved over Time, hoW The A350 fAmily sTAcks up AgAinsT The lATesT AddiTions To The boeing producT line, And speculATe As To WhAT mighT come neXT.

he A350 XWB will reach two symbolic milestones by the end of 2019: 900 firm orders and 300 units delivered. Launched in 2006, the latest Airbus long-haul aircraft is now available in two models with well established positions in this new generation of 250 to 370seat aircraft in which the Boeing 787 family

T 46

is another contender. As of the end of March 2019, the two competing families had generated a combined total of more than 2,300 sales since their respective launches. These figures are consistent with manufacturers' forecasts, especially since this new generation of long-haul twin-engine aircraft already has a significant number of aircraft to

A350 key figures

2 versions 890 firm orders 257 aircraft delivered

50 customers AIR&COSMOS

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replace:A340s, some of the first generation A330s, 767s and 777s in their various versions. It adds up to no less than 2,400 widebody aircraft, not including freighters. On top of this, the market needs large numbers of aircraft to meet ongoing growth in global air traffic. The two manufacturers have therefore clearly identified a demand that is also being driven by the airlines’ desire to acquire ever

more fuel-efficient aircraft. However, the healthy situation today belies the chaotic early days of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350XWB programmes.When Boeing launched its long-haul twin-engine aircraft in April 2004, the European manufacturer was getting up to speed on the A380 and coming to grips with the superjumbo’s outsized supply chain. In short, the A380 programme was fully mobilising the com-

VQT5 amless corner geometry. Optimised flute fo or improved chip evacuation.

A350 programme key dates 10th December 2004: A350-800/900 launch 6th October 2005: production go-ahead for A350 17th July 2006: launch of A350 XWB family 1st December 2006: production go-ahead. 14th June 2013: A350-900 first flight 22nd December 2014: first delivery, to Qatar Airways 24th November 2016: A350-1000 first flight 20th February 2018: first delivery, to Qatar Airways


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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 pany’s human, industrial and financial resources. This was followed by the gradual decline of the A340-500/600, production problems on the A380 and BAE Systems’ decision to sell its stake in Airbus. With the fuel savings announced at the time thanks to new engines under development and the massive use of composites in its aerostructures, the Boeing 787 was attracting strong interest from the airlines. Orders reached the 500 milestone in April 2007. QUICK SOLUTION.

Airbus had to respond, and the European manufacturer came up with a quick-fix solution by announcing a long-haul version of its A330-300, which offered a maximum range of 10,400km. The aim was to transform this aircraft, optimised for regional operation, into a competitor for the Boeing 787-9 which was due to enter service in 2010.Airbus had already worked on increasing the weight to extend the range of the A330-300. This enhanced A330-300, already called the A350, was only part of the various scenarios Airbus was working on, including derivative and clean sheet designs. Facing a mixed response from the market, the European manufacturer continued to refine its offer. In December 2004, the two shareholders, EADS and BAE Systems, authorised Airbus to offer new versions of its A330200 and A330-300 aircraft. Designated A350-800 and A350-900, the first aircraft were to be delivered with General Electric GEnx engines, with a choice of engines to be offered at a later stage. The two future aircraft had different targets.The first was aimed at the 787-9, which was capable of carrying 257 passengers in three classes over a distance of 15,400km. The A350-800 could 245 passengers over a range of 15,900km.With 285 passengers in a similar layout, the A350900 had its sights set on the 777200ER market.


The ultra long range market ith the ultra long range (ulr) version of the A350-900, singapore Airlines has again launched very long-haul flights. The service has been offered since october 2018 between singapore and new york. The airline had initially tested this market using the A340-500 from 2004 onwards. first to los Angeles, a direct flight of 14h 40 min covering 14,000km; then to new york, a few months later, a 16,600km flight lasting 18h 18 min. for its earlier operation, singapore Airlines had converted its five A340-500s to seat just 181 passengers in two classes, compared with a total capacity of 313 passengers in three classes. The fuel load was boosted by means of additional tanks in the hold, while passengers were offered maximum comfort to help them withstand the monotony of a flight of more than 18 hours. The 64 passengers in business class, for example, could enjoy a 69cm-wide seat that converted into a 1.98m lie-flat bed. The airline also took the opportunity to


There was also the replacement market for the A340-300, more than 230 of which were then in service, with large fleets in service with airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia and Cathay Pacific.To increase the range of these future A350-800/900s,Airbus engineers set about trimming 8-9 tonnes off the empty weight of the A330-200/300. The goal was to give the A350800 greater range than the A330200, with a similar fuel load (139,000 litres maximum) and a 9t increase in maximum takeoff weight due to heavier engines than those on the A330-200.The challenge was the same on the A350-900, whose take-off weight was also 9 tonnes higher than the A330-300, with more than 41,000 litres of additional fuel, thanks to the addition of an auxiliary tank in the central section of the aircraft, similar to those installed on the A330-200 and A340-300.

create a "super" economy class for 117 passengers with a seat pitch of 94cm and a 20cm recline. in addition, there was a large selection of audio-video programmes common to both classes and the possibility of going stretching one’s legs thanks to bars located at the rear of each cabin. however, passenger load factors was disappointing at times. This resulted in the carrier reducing the capacity of its A340-500s to just 100 seats in an all-business-class configuration. however, revenue still failed to take off, as operating costs soared following the surge in fuel prices, forcing singapore Airlines to terminate its very long-haul flights in 2013. This time round, with its two engines and a maximum take-off weight reduced by at least 80 tonnes, the A350-900 ulr offers the prospect of better operating economics. The twin-engine aircraft carries only 165,000 litres of fuel, compared to 215,000 litres for the A340-500, and can accommodate 161 passengers in two classes.


As planned, Airbus integrated the maximum amount of composites, with modifications compared to the initial project. Other innovations included the use of composites and aluminium-lithium alloys for the wing box, leading edges, ailerons and spoilers. Titanium was adopted for the engine pylons. The future A350-800/900 also use the carbon keel beams initially launched on the A340-600 and this material is also adopted for the belly fairing and even the window frame. This raised the proportion of carbon 39% of the aircraft's total structure. The weight-savings effort also involved so-called 3rd generation aluminium-lithium alloys with lithium densities of less than 2%. The design teams have also fine-tuned the aerodynamics of the wing and tail to reduce drag and therefore fuel consumption. The vertical stabiliser was rede-

signed while the wing was improved by eliminating the interaction drag created by the engine nacelles and reducing drag at the junction of the wings and fuselage through a more refined fairing design. Finally, the A350s adopted the so-called "droop-nose" slats launched on the A380, which reduce drag at low speed by 3%. While the cockpit retained the same instrument panel as the A330-200/300, in the end it was decided to introduce a number of functions that had appeared on the A380. The goal was to facilitate the man-machine interface and leverage synergies to reduce development costs. Similarly, the A350 would feature landing and taxiing aids. First, the FMS Landing System (FLS)/ GBAS Landing System (GLS) procedure based on the use of flight paths developed by the flight management system (FMS), which calculates the descent and slope axis from various


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data: GPS, RNAV,VOR/DME or NDB. Similarly, pilots would be able to use the brake to vacate function, which automatically applies the brakes to take the planned exit ramp without any pilot action. Once the aircraft has landed, the crew would have a taxiing aid with a representation of the airport map, runways and taxiways as well as the position of the aircraft and those of the other aircraft. This information would be displayed on the screens of the two on-board information terminals (OIT), installed at the right and left ends of the instrument panel, as on the A380. Also receiving all the documentation necessary for flight planning and performance calculations, these terminals would be


accessible to pilots thanks to a keyboard integrated in a sliding table that can be deployed at the touch of a button. An increase in cabin surface area, combined with a reduction in the thickness of the cabin wall panels, allowed engineers to rework the volume to give the impression of more space. Passengers placed next to the windows would no longer have their shoulders glued to the wall as on the A330 thanks to an extra 4cm in width, while the luggage bins were more spacious and practical.Airbus also had to take into account the strong points of the competition. As a result, the surface area of the windows was increased by 8% and LED technology was adopted for indirect lighting of the ceiling.

All this work would not be for nothing, because it would be re-used later. In June 2005, at the Paris Air Show, the European manufacturer unveiled orders, letters of intent and purchase commitments for 117 aircraft. Qatar Airways announced that it would make the A350, with 60 aircraft, the future spearhead of its fleet of small and medium long-haul aircraft fleet, while also indicating that it would do the same with the Boeing 777-200LR/300ER for its long-haul fleet. GREEN LIGHT.

It was in this context of increasing tension as the A380 programme begins to encounter delays due to production problems — that on 6th October

2005, the EADS Board gave the green light for industrialisation of the A350, which then had 140 purchase commitments and 15 options. However, this "first draft" of the future A350 XWB would continue to evolve as a function of feedback from potential customers. While the integration of new pilot aids introduced on the A380 was planned from the outset, it was finally decided in January 2006 to also adopt the superjumbo’s instrument panel. “For an aircraft that would arrive on the market in 2010, it was difficult to rely on a cockpit from the 1980s,” commented Thierry Arquin, then head of avionics and electromechanical systems. “We realised that pilots were asking for more commonality


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In July 2006, Airbus completely overhauled the A350 programme, which was renamed A350 XWB.

with the A380 and in particular with airlines that were already customers of the A380,” explained Jean-Michel Roy, thenVice President of Training and Flight Operations at Airbus.“Our objective has been to maintain the same type rating as the A330 with a different training while creating a bridge with the A380. Moving from the A330 to the A350 will require four days of transition training, and 11 days for the A380," he added. With A380 production problems coming to a head,Airbus had to find a way out of the crisis. Especially since airlines and lessors remained unconvinced by the A350. Not to mention that sales of the four-engine A340-500/600 engines were stalling at less than 150 units, a total that would be reduced with the cancellation of Emirates' order for 18 aircraft.The competing Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR, despite being launched later, would total 273 sales


by the end of 2006, not including the freighter version. The European manufacturer therefore decided to "cross the Rubicon". The Farnborough Air Show in July 2006 was the occasion for a complete overhaul of the A350 programme, which was renamed A350 XWB for “eXtra Wide Body”.To emphasise that the cabin would be wider, at 5.61m, than the 787, while offering a credible alternative to operators of the 777 (5.87m).“At the level of the seat armrests and at passenger eye level, the A350 will be 5.45m and 5.27m wide, respectively, compared to 5.37 m and 5.15 m for the 787," said Airbus sales chief John Leahy. This widened fuselage was accompanied by a new wing with a sweep angle increased by 3° to 33° to improve aerodynamic performance in cruise, which was increased to Mach 0.85, the same as the 787.At the same time, the A350 would be

powered by a new version of the Rolls-Royce Trent family, capable of propelling the aircraft over a total range of 15,700km and developing 333kN (75,000lb) - 422kN (95,000lb) of thrust for maximum take-off weights ranging from 245 to 290 tonnes. FIVE VERSIONS.

At this point,Airbus shifted into higher gear, offering not just two, but five versions. In addition to the A350-800/900 XWB, there was now an A350-1000, as well as an A350-900 with extended range, which would become the A350 Ultra Long Range, and an A350-900 Freight. This family would seek to counter both the 787 and the 777. With a capacity of 350 passengers

divided into three classes, the A350-1000 was very similar to the A340-600 (280 seats in the same configuration) and provided an alternative to the 777-300ER (365 seats over a distance of 14,500km). With a maximum take-off weight 78 tonnes lower than that of the A340-600 (a differential that would ultimately shrink to 52 tonnes), the A3501000 was aimed at the 777300ER, while anticipating the wave of replacement of the hotselling Boeing twin, which had sold more than 840 units since its launch in October 2000. The new family would benefit from the composite materials and light alloys chosen for the initial version of the A350.The proportion of composites was


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SPECIAL ISSUE increased to 52% of the total structure, up from 39%.This allowed the new A350-800 to maintain a maximum take-off weight similar to the previous version (245 tonnes), despite a higher passenger payload (270 compared to 253) and with 600km less range. In its new version, the A350900 gained 20t in weight but for a larger capacity (314 seats compared to 300) and an extra 1,800km in range. The A350900 was scheduled to enter commercial service in the first quarter of 2012, followed by the A350800 (in the first quarter of 2013) and the A350-1000, announced for the first quarter of 2014. On 1st December 2006,Airbus finally received the green light from parent company EADS for the industrial launch of the new A350 XWB family. Then-Airbus CEO Louis Gallois talked about “bad weather” in reference to the industrial and capital-intensive turbulence that that the company had experien-

ced. The turbulence was not over because the details of the "Power 8" savings and competitiveness plan had not yet been validated by EADS and its shareholders, the German and French governments, Lagardère and DaimlerChrysler. In spite of Franco-German tensions that resurfaced under the Power 8 plan, the A350 XWB programme moved forward, though the A350-900's entry into commercial service slipped one year, to mid-2013. After freezing the aircraft's general configuration, the engineers moved on to the detailed design phase.The widening of the fuselage allowed the commercial crew rest area to be accommodated in the fuselage crown, above the passenger cabin. For the pilots, Airbus initially retained the concept of a rest area under the cockpit before finally moving it to the fuselage crown, just behind the cockpit by redesigning the nose section.The idea of using the same instrument

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 Airbus A350-900: from 253 to 432 seats Airline Total seats Singapore Airlines 253 Cathay Pacific 280 Qatar Airways 283 Malaysia Airlines 286 China Eastern 290 Lufthansa 293 Philippine Airlines 295 Finnair 297 Vietnam Airlines 305 Delta Air Lines 306 China Airlines 306 Asiana 311 Air China 312 Thai Airways 321 Air Mauritius 326 Sichuan Airlines 331 Hong Kong Airlines 334 Hainan Airlines 334 339 Ethiopian Airlines 343 Iberia 348 TAM 348 Air Caraïbes 389 French Bee 411 Evelop Airlines 432

panel as the A380 was abandoned in favour of six large screens at the request of the airlines. With regard to the use of composite materials, it was decided to go even further. All cargo and passenger doors would now be made of carbon, as would the landing gear doors. On the other hand, the nose of the aircraft would not be a monobloc carbon structure but would be built from aluminiumlithium panels, considered more resistant to bird strikes. FUSELAGE PANELS.

For the fuselage,Airbus chose a different solution to that adopted by Boeing for the 787. Rather than the cylindrical fuselage barrels of the 787,Airbus opted for


First 4 6 -

Business 42 38 36 35 36 48 30 46 9 32 32 28 32 32 28 28 33 33 30 30 31 30 45 -

Premium Economy 24 28 27 32 21 24 43 45 48 31 36 24 102 108 63 24 18 35 -

a constant-diameter concept in which each of the three main fuselage sections was divided lengthwise into four panels.According to Airbus engineers, the concept ensures better structural performance by varying the fuselage geometry. Airbus explained that the thickness of each panel could be precisely adapted to the loads at each point on the panel. Finally, the four-sector construction for each of the A350's three main fuselage sections requires only lap joints, which carry less of a weight penalty than the frames used by Boeing to assemble the 787’s four fuselage barrel sections. Another advantage of this solution was that it provided better

Economy 187 214 247 220 216 224 241 208 231 226 243 247 256 289 298 303 199 193 246 313 293 318 326 376 -

repairability in the event of impact on the fuselage by refuelling vehicles or during line maintenance operations requiring the use of work platforms. Airbus explained that it would be easier to repair a panel than a filamentwound cylindrical structure and, in the worst case, “a damaged panel can be replaced”. While Airbus engineers were confident in the chosen solution, the difficulties encountered by Boeing on the 787 encouraged them to be cautious.As a result, the A350 XWB program was delayed for an initial three months to give structural engineers more time to validate digital models. The additional validation work of Airbus engineers fo-

cused on four critical areas: frame and stringer sizes, wingfuselage joint, load and damage tolerance and structural electric grid.The first two could be verified, re-verified and validated. On the wing-fuselage junction, the risk was reduced by adopting the same design principles as for the A380. The launch of the A350XWB family, whose development costs were estimated at €10-12bn, also gave Airbus the opportunity to radically review its relations with the supply chain under the Power 8 plan.This resulted in substantial savings to compensate for the financial problems caused by the A380 programme, as well as achieving industrial efficiency gains. Subcontracted packages were cut from around 150 to 90 for aircraft systems, from 90 to 20 for cabin systems, from 15 on the A330 to 6 for air conditioning and temperature control systems, from nine on the A330 to five for electrical systems and from 26 to 15 for hydraulic and flight control systems. Another lesson learned from the A380 program was that the final assembly of the future longhaul aircraft was organised in a way that "saved time and increased the efficiency of the test program". Sections would arrive at the new site in Toulouse fully equipped and tested in order to reduce the volume of work to be carried out on systems. Galleys and crew rest areas would be in place inside the three fuselage sections before the start of the final assembly. The sections would be joined to form a complete fuselage allowing interior work to be carried out in parallel with the assembly of the sections. Further time savings would be achieved by starting cabin layout at an earlier stage, during the wingfuselage join-up and installation of the tail assembly. It is also at this time that the integration of landing gear and other systems would be performed, followed by the initial power-on.


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Everything was organised to achieve the objective of a 30% reduction in cycle times.A front fuselage section mockup was built to facilitate installation of the test systems while validating the installation of wiring, pipes and tubes.“The DMU is a fantastic tool, but the lesson learned from the A380 was that we needed to go further to anticipate system installation problems,” A350 programme manager Didier Evrard explained. In addition, the acoustic behaviour of the composite fuselage was also tested under real conditions.A 4.3m by 3m carbon fuselage panel was installed on the A340-300 test aircraft to measure noise transmission and detect any potential problems during flight testing. The procedure for producing the flight manual was also completely revised. "Before, we did the aerodynamic testing to freeze the configuration, then the performance testing and we could

then do the flight manual," explained A350 XWB chief engineer Gordon McConnell.The manual would now be produced before flight testing, then checked during the flight tests, with modifications being made where necessary.This represents a considerable time saving, he added. On June 14, 2013, the first test A350-900 made its first flight. Six months later, Qatar Airways took delivery of its first A350900, the long-haul twin-engine aircraft having been certified on 30th September by EASA following a flight test programme involving five aircraft and completed within the 14-month deadline set after the first flight. Fabrice Brégier, now Airbus COO and President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, highlighted the achievement, which helped to erase memories of the 19 months required for A380 certification. “Our fleet of five test aircraft completed the certification campaign, on time, cost and quality.

Accumulating more than 2,600 flight test hours, we created and successfully achieved one of the industry’s most thorough and efficient test programmes ever developed for a jetliner,” he commented. On 24th November 2016, the A350-1000 made its first flight. Unlike the A350-900, its order book had at that time seen ups and downs. At the end of June 2017, sales peaked at 211 firm orders but dropped to 180 after United Airlines' decision to convert its 35 orders into 45 A350-900s.The biggest setback was the cancellation by Emirates of its order for 20 A350-1000s and 50 A350-900s in June 2014. Targeting the replacement market for the Boeing 777-300ER, which has sold more than 800 units, the A350-1000 can carry 366 passengers in two classes or up to 384 depending on the layout chosen by the airlines. Seven metres longer than the A350-900 and thus heavier, the A350-1000 also incorporates a number of

modifications, starting with a more powerful Rolls-Royce engine, the Trent XWB-97. MORE POWERFUL ENGINES.

While maintaining the same fan diameter as the version that powers the A350-900, the thrust has been boosted from 374kN to 432kN. The aerodynamics of the fan have been modified, combined with a larger gas generator, to cope with the increased air flow into the compressor. The number of “blisks” has been increased on HP compressor stages 1 and 2, and on the first compressor stage the blades are friction welded to the rotor. Finally, the increase in the turbine temperature, which allows for an increase in fan speed, is compensated by a “shroud-less” turbine design, and an “intelligent” cooling system provides the right amount of cooling air to the blade throughout the flight cycle.The clearance at the high-pressure turbine blade tips has also been modified

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by using (relatively) cooler air bleeds from the compressor to regulate the casing diameter. Another logical consequence of the A350-1000’s higher weight, alongside the aircraft’s structural reinforcements, is that the aircraft incorporates a new main landing gear featuring a six-wheel bogie with two tandem-mounted sets of three wheels to better distribute the weight. Hence the need for a longer undercarriage bay door. Airbus established a series of operational requirement targets: an approach speed of 150 knots (277km/h) at maximum landing weight, compliance with London/Heathrow Airport's QC1 and QC2 constraints in terms of noise emissions on arrival and take-off, and the ability to reach a cruise altitude of 33,000 feet


(10,000m) in less than 30 minutes. To meet these targets, Airbus engineers worked on optimizing the wing. The wing-fuselage joint was moved forward by one frame and modifications were made to the trailing edge. The latter has been extended, increasing the total wing area. At the same time, the high-lift devices and ailerons have been extended, while the chord is increased by about 400 mm. This also results in better lift performance from the flaps. On 20th February 2018, Qatar Airways, which has been involved in the A350 programme since its inception in 2004, received its first A350-1000.The airline chose a two-class cabin layout for a total of 327 passengers, favouring comfort over capacity. Since then, the

carrier has received seven aircraft. Cathay Pacific now has 10 A3501000s in its fleet with a capacity of 334 seats in a three-class configuration. The configuration choices of the other customer airlines will be interesting to analyse. The A350-1000 is not currently operating at full capacity. Japan Airlines has opted to carry 369 passengers in three classes on its A350-900s. This gives an idea of the A3501000's potential — the margins demonstrated during flight tests and initial operations make the Airbus twin a solid alternative to the Boeing 777-8, which can carry 350-375 passengers in two classes over a distance of 16,000km. Airbus now needs to come up with an answer to the 777-9,

which will carry 400-425 passengers over a distance of 13,900km. One option being mulled by Airbus is a small fuselage stretch. The idea is to boost capacity to 410 seats in two classes, almost the equivalent of five extra rows of seats in economy class. This will require a reinforcement of the wing-fuselage joint and a higher fuel load if the range is to be maintained. As a result, the maximum takeoff weight of this larger-capacity A350-1000 would increase by 10 tonnes.The search for launch customers is on. As a customer for the A350-1000, British Airways also chose the Boeing 777-9 with 18 firm orders and 24 options. The coming months, therefore, will be exciting to follow.


■ Yann Cochennec

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How do you view the prospects for electric aircraft in the coming years? Will regional aircraft be the first step, as certain observers have predicted? SThe ATR-type regional aircraft will not be the first milestone because the regional aircraft already represents a rather ambitious step from a technical point of view. There will undoubtedly be smaller aircraft before that — commuter aircraft with a maximum of 10 to 20 seats, with hybrid propulsion, capable of operating on point-to-point or shuttle services over relatively short distances, so-called “thin haul”. It is important to understand the nature of the response we are seeking to provide to a given problem through the use of electricity on an aircraft.And based on that, what technology allows us to do. Electricity makes two things possible: it is first of all a way of decarbonising the aircraft, assuming that the electricity itself is fully decarbonised, and it is a way of distributing energy in the aircraft in a different way.This opens up possibilities for flexibility in the installation of the propulsion system, socalled distributed propulsion. It opens up new possibilities in terms of aircraft shapes that would be much more difficult to achieve with conventional "mechanical" propulsion systems such as those we know today. This would therefore make it possible to produce VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing aircraft), hybrid configurations with a multitude of propulsors, steerable or not, capable of lift and level flight. And so somewhat different modes of transport, which are neither helicopters nor fixed wing aircraft, which potentially have the advantages of both, or a compromise. This second point opens up prospects for new uses such as urban mobility or logistics, where we want to be able to take off short, have few direct emissions (a particularly advantage for electric power), with a high level of safety and therefore strong redundancy on the rotors.These are mostly new areas of operation. In commercial or regional aviation, we are seeking to reduce the carbon footprint or achieve operational gains. However, the most important thing is to reduce the carbon footprint. When looking at the lower end of the spectrum, distributed propulsion and short range are the new areas of operation involved in trying to cover new applications that are currently outside the scope of commercial aviation. That being said, the question then is: what makes electricity a good answer? It must be

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borne in mind that it is difficult in this sector to transpose the logic adopted for surface transport to aviation, in other words to move from theory to application. What are the current obstacles to the adoption of electric propulsion for aircraft? The fundamental parameter is weight, which has a snowball effect because if I have a heavier aircraft, it consumes more, so it needs more energy, which leads to more systems, so more mass, so more energy, etc. As a result, and depending on the aircraft, electric propulsion is accessible to different degrees. There are two determining parameters: the energy density provided by storage, but also the electrical machinery and electrical distribution.All of this currently weighs much more than a conventional propulsion system, especially the batteries, which are nowhere near providing the energy density of jet fuel. And it should not be forgotten that jet fuel

As soon as the system increases above several megawatts, you encounter particularly difficult technical problems, which are linked to both altitude and mass. And there are real technological problems in this area, which require work on the basic technology because we don't have solutions available. For example, how can cables withstand voltage at altitude, given the electrical effects on insulators? High-speed train cables that can carry 2,000 or 3,000 volts on the ground would only be able to carry 200 volts at cruise altitude. It is therefore necessary to invent other cables, other insulators, just to carry the necessary voltage. We have to increase the voltage to transmit the power because otherwise the cables would be far too large, which would not be possible in terms of weight. So we have a challenge in terms of high voltage, but also in other basic areas such as protection and disconnection. Let us take again the example of the high-speed train.To cut power, there are circuit breakers and/or contactors,

Stéphane Cueille — Key dates 1991: Ecole Polytechnique. 1998: PhD in statistical physics. 2001: Management positions in aircraft propulsion at the French defence procurement agency DGA. 2008: Repair general manager in Snecma’s military engine division. 2013: Managing director of Aircelle Ltd. 2015: Director of Safran Tech, Safran’s corporate research and technology centre.

disappears during the flight since it is consumed, and the weight of the aircraft is reduced accordingly.This is not the case with batteries, whose weight on board is present throughout the flight. Therefore, even if we adopt very ambitious assumptions about battery density, within reasonable time frames of a few decades and in the absence of a technological breakthrough, we will have difficulty covering long distances; we will be limited to a few hundred kilometres, certainly less than a thousand kilometres, for the foreseeable future. The second point is the weight of the electrical distribution systems and the engines. There is a feasibility problem depending on the power required. That is, if we want to design an aircraft that flies long distances, we need a lot of batteries and if we want to design an aircraft that carries a lot of passengers, it will also need a lot of propulsion power.

there are systems to extinguish the arc — elements whose dimensions are not compatible with aviation. The technical solutions we currently have at our disposal for lowervoltage networks do not apply as soon as we cross a certain threshold, around 1,500 volts. So, beyond the intrinsic weight problem, there are basic electrical challenges and problems when dealing with high power levels. Will electric propulsion be a major contributor to reducing the carbon footprint of aviation in 20 years’ time? For the core market, we believe that electric propulsion will be a minor contributor, which does not mean that it is not significant, but we will only be able to gain a small share of electrical energy and power, due to the constraints mentioned above. On the other hand, if we stay in smaller aircraft, with lower


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electrical power and therefore lower voltages and seek to cover shorter distances, if we accept a shorter range, the energy requirements on board will be reduced. In this case, we can then move towards hybrid or even all-electric within a reasonable time frame for very short distances.The hybrid solution extends the distance, while retaining a significant proportion of electrical energy via batteries, and permits a virtuous overall effect on the carbon footprint.That is why today we see initial applications either on new uses such asVTOL vehicles or urban logistics, potential market segments such as commuters, which are not new segments but which are very poorly developed because the aircraft used in these market segments are not very efficient and high-cost, free of the pollution they generate.With more efficient aircraft using hybrid propulsion over distances of a few hundred kilometres, this market can be re-launched for point-to-point or shuttle services in the United States. Are there other possibilities beyond the commuter aircraft? The regional aircraft, in the 50-70 passenger class, will probably be the most ambitious concept with a significant electrical contribution, within a time frame that we will describe as reasonable. However, it is not that simple.We still have to demonstrate that the distances flown by these aircraft and the performance of the electrical system will pay off, that they will be economically profitable. These will be areas that will need to be worked on in the next few years in order to form a real opinion.You really have to look at the aircraft once you've taken everything into account. It's not that obvious when you start considering aircraft that travel long distances; it's much more difficult to get the right balance. We believe that regional aviation is the most ambitious medium-term target that can be achieved. On larger aircraft, electric assistance for the engines or electrical systems, will improve the system.The 40/50 or 70-passenger hybrid electric aircraft is probably the next frontier, located around 2035. However, there is a question mark about its utility, which will be determined by more detailed studies. There are already many players on this market, with multiple projects and concepts. How do you see this market evolving? There has been a wave of enthusiasm; there are many players, especially on new applications.Things will come into focus; there are already fundamental questions on these applications.There is potential. When and how much? It's still very uncertain. What is certain, however, is that among the players, some concepts are relevant and others are not. Little by little, step by step, we are moving forward. We have done a number of studies ourselves. On the



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other hand, just because a concept is feasible does not mean that it is the right one for the applications. There will be an assessment phase to pick out interesting applications, those that are of priority, those that remain the most feasible and the aircraft concepts that are the most suitable. We are about to start this phase. Similarly, on larger aircraft, with all the studies that have been carried out, we have a fairly concrete picture of the potential, which is basically to say that we will not only rely on electricity as a major element in solving the carbon problem in the next two decades, that we must look at other levers. Electricity can be a contributor but only in the longer term. Using more electricity makes sense if we break down the technological barriers, which we have to work on.We are working on electrical technologies, we have competence in distribution, switching, protection, cables and we are carefully exploring all fields of application:

VTOL, commuter and regional aircraft and the underlying technologies.We have developed a number of electric motors and generators, complete propulsion chains at the lower end of the spectrum of distances and dimensions. I am referring to our collaboration with Bell in particular. We have developed a complete hybrid system for a large VTOL vehicle. We have also announced that we have supplied a small gas turbine for Zunum, focused more on the commuter segment. In addition, we have other more confidential projects on which we supply either the complete chain or electrical components. What progress do you expect in the energy density of batteries? The energy density of batteries is about 60 times less than that of jet fuel. Even though it is true that an electric motor has an efficiency about 50% higher than that of an internal combustion engine, and taking this into ac-

count, there is still a factor of 30 between jet fuel and battery energy density. Considering the weight to be carried over the entire mission, at 200Wh/kg, we are talking about small tourist or general aviation aircraft flying for less than an hour, not much more.What is important to understand are the perspectives. The battery market will never be driven by aviation requirements. Major investments are needed on the chemical side, and this market is clearly driven by the land-based sector and in particular the automotive sector. Which is more interested in the volume of the battery than its mass.The evolution as perceived by laboratory researchers is as follows: we are currently at 200Wh/kg, and we will certainly progress towards 500-600Wh/kg for the complete battery with the full pack and protection system. But beyond that, there is no identified chemical solution and no market need. In other words, for cars, 400Wh/kg is enough. Safran recently announced an in-




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SPECIAL ISSUE vestment in a start-up company, Oxis Energy, which is working on a different chemistry from lithium-ion: lithium sulphur, which provides better energy density but is not yet fully mature. Overall, the rate of progress is not driven by aviation and if we wanted to develop an all-electric long-distance aircraft, we would need an order of magnitude improvement compared to 200Wh/kg.Today, the technologies identified on the upstream side do not exist, apart from the fact that no sector has expressed a need for this type of density. However, it may be that a scientific discovery or the emergence of other needs lead to progress, but at this point in time, we are far from 1,000Wh/kg or more. It is this energy density that we need to obtain in order to start considering commercial aircraft such as the A320 or others with a significant share of electric systems. Right now, this is a real barrier. On the other hand, with 500Wh/kg, over short distances forVTOL vehicles, we can already have a significant electrical contribution; we can even have full electrical autonomy for very short distances.We are still a long way from flying from Paris to Moscow or Tokyo... How do urban air transport markets differ from conventional aviation markets? This market is totally different. As far as Safran is concerned, we segment it into three parts.The first is urban mobility, the transport of passengers over short distances, a few tens of kilometres and very short periods of time, point to point, from heliports of some kind. The second market is that of urban or intra-urban logistics with parcel transport, serving mini-hubs with payloads without passengers on board. The third market is thin-haul interurban transport over distances of 100 to 300km maximum with point-to-point shuttles to nearby cities, which is usually performed by road or rail where

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the line exists. The latter is the one that has the closest resemblance to air transport as we know it today, it is a segment that exists with old aircraft with internal combustion engines. The first two markets do not exist, but they have caught the eye of players today who hope to attract broad public interest and large volumes. That said, when it comes to small aircraft sizes, the investment to build a demonstrator is on a different level compared with commercial aviation...This will not prevent these markets from emerging. There are several safety issues, particularly with regard to urban air transport and the absence of a pilot on board, demonstrating safety and also the acceptance of passengers, and the economics of these markets. For these reasons,

aircraft or not. With regard to regulatory issues and air traffic control, the autonomous passenger transport market represents a major step forward, and it will not be possible to achieve this with logistics transportation along peri-urban corridors.A control system — public or private, but in any case validated from a regulatory point of view — will be required.We expect demonstrations of usage for 2020-2021 and an entry into service for logistics in 2023-2025... What is your view on the absence of the pilot in the cockpit? It is above all a question of public acceptance. We think that there are some difficult technical issues to address if we use artificial intelligence.The pilot-less vehicle

“ There are still challenges with batteries, whether for hybrid aircraft or not. ” we believe that logistics transport will probably be the first to emerge. However, there will be a process of elimination among the players. This will occur on the basis of issues relating to proper usage and justification of safety levels, rather than issues of air traffic control infrastructure to manage these aircraft and the speed at which these aircraft will have to be deployed. We are seeing a lot of interest, and the transition to market applications could happen quickly, but the level of uncertainty remains high.

is a technological step forward. Beyond the regulatory aspect, there is a human aspect that is a real issue.Technologically it will be feasible, it is necessary to develop methodologies and knowledge to be able to achieve certification, but then the regulators and the general public must accept flying on an aircraft with only one pilot or without a pilot. Of course, there is no question of reducing the level of safety; the consequences of an accident are so serious that we cannot afford any uncertainty regarding safety.

Are regulatory issues more of a concern than technology problems? Technology has progressed, we have managed to improve engine mass performance quite significantly, fairly quickly. However, there are still challenges with batteries, whether for hybrid

Following the work performed by Onera and Nasa, is distributed propulsion for aircraft seen as a promising solution? In terms of distributed propulsion, we are working on it. This is an interesting solution, because if we want to transition


to hybrid aircraft with a range comparable to that of regional aircraft, we will have difficulty achieving our goals using propulsion that is not of the distributed type. It would improve the aircraft's performance, provided that the propulsion distribution system is not too heavy. It would provide additional gains that would compensate for the weight of the batteries as well as other benefits, such as short take-off. Do you think that electric propulsion in general constitutes a breakthrough in aerodynamic terms, i.e. moving away from under-wing nacellemounted engines, as on the Boeing 707? Indeed, on large aircraft, given that reliance on batteries to provide all the propulsion is not possible for what we are planning. The advantage of integrating electric solutions would be to distribute the propulsion system in a different way, using other concepts. Distributed propulsion is a somewhat extreme example, particularly when referring to Onera’s Ampère or NASA’s X-57, two aircraft with a large number of propulsors. Nevertheless, we could have flexibility on the position of multiple propulsors, some of which could maybe ingest the boundary layer by being closer to the wing.These are concepts that have been studied by Airbus in particular, or even more radically by NASA, without batteries. In this case, a gas turbine is used to power a generator which, via a distribution network, feeds distributed propulsors. On paper, it's interesting. Nevertheless, for this to work, we always come back to the previous problem — it can only work if the weight of the electrical system does not cancel out the gains offered by the aerodynamic and propulsive efficiency of this type of architecture. This balance is difficult to achieve without a major breakthrough in electrical system performance. ■ Interview by Antony Angrand


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The E-Fan X technology demonstrator is due to fly in 2021.





he electric aircraft is a reality today. But there is a lot of work still to be done, because the more-electric aircraft is only a first step towards the fully electric aircraft, and a number of technological hurdles have to be cleared before an all-electric commercial aircraft is ready for take-off. Although it represents only 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the airline industry is constantly seeking to reduce its environmental footprint.The objectives of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onwards and to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2050 despite the continued increase in traffic. Though progress has been made on the design of engines, airframes and/or equipment of all kinds, this will not be sufficient to achieve these objectives. Electrification will partly reduce the heavy dependence on fossil fuels, but only in the long term. The first step on the road towards the all-electric system — and this is the solution



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SPECIAL ISSUE adopted by most manufacturers — is hybrid propulsion, i.e. a combination of internal combustion engines and electric motors. The most ambitious project in this area is being pursued by Airbus. The E-Fan X technology demonstrator, launched in partnership with Rolls-Royce and Siemens, should fly in 2021 on a flying test bed, a BAe 146 on which one of the four engines is replaced by a two-megawatt electric motor. SHORT-TERM PROSPECTS.

“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight d e -

monstrators, starting with the Cri-

Cri, including the e-Genius, EStar, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” Paul Eremenko,Airbus’ then-Chief Technology Officer, declared in 2017. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.” Within the E-Fan X programme, responsibilities were shared among the partners as follows: Airbus is responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls. Rolls-Royce is responsible for the turbo-shaft engine (an AE2100) driving the generator, and the power electronics.Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce is also working on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor. Siemens was

to deliver the two megawatt electric motor and the power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. However, there was a slight change of plan in early May of this year, when Airbus and Siemens announced the end of their collaboration.“At the beginning of May, we announced the end of our collaboration with Siemens. We mutually agreed that we had achieved our objectives within the framework of this partnership.We have worked well together. We are terminating our collaboration contract a year in advance, each party being free to continue along its path with the lessons learned,” comments Olivier Maillard, who leads the E-Fan X programme at Airbus. Siemens will probably be replaced by another partner, but Airbus has no comment at this time.Two megawatts would be

the largest power level ever achieved on an aircraft, whether on a demonstrator or a prototype, since the two electric motors on the earlier E-Fan which successfully flew across the Channel in July 2015 had combined maximum power of 60kW. TWO MW FOR E-FANX.

These two megawatts — equivalent to twice the energy produced by the reactor of the very first nuclear power plants — will lead to major technical problems that the three partners will have to solve, such as the heat released by such a propulsion system or energy storage, to name but two. E-Fan X has big ambitions. In the long term, thanks to this technological adventure, it is planned to launch a single-aisle transport aircraft programme as one of the means to achieving the European goals of a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions derived from air transport, as well as a 90% reduction in nitrogen


Safran Helicopter Engines is developing the hybrid electric propulsion system for the Zunum ZA10.

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United Technologies Advanced Projects is working on the Dash 8-based Project 804

oxide emissions and a 65% reduction in noise pollution compared to 2000. “Concerning the date of the first flight of the E-Fan X, we had to admit that, given the initial difficulties, it will not be before 2021. However, this remains extremely ambitious, even for a demonstrator. Because of the choice of platform and the integration solutions, we can leave ourselves some room for manoeuvre. Especially regarding weight considerations. I have trained an Airbus team familiar with these principles, many of whom come from the Beluga XL programme, myself included. We know what it's like to develop an aircraft quickly. Basically the key milestones are as follows: in 2019 we freeze the concept; in 2020 we launch ground tests and we start the conversion of the aircraft on the upstream side, to prepare for the integration of the first equipment; and in 2021, we perform the first flight,” Maillard comments. For this team, 2018 was particularly busy, as many tests were carried out throughout the year in the laboratory.


“These laboratory tests were intended to validate our design rules, since we are in a completely new environment, with a voltage that has never before been used in aviation, i.e. 3,000V. Concerning integration of the electrical network, we carried out partial discharge tests to ensure that the voltage would be maintained and that there would be no short-circuit effects between the cables. We are also responsible for the development of the batteries, which is a huge challenge, because they must allow storage of two megawatts of electrical energy. In terms of weight, they represent about two tonnes,” adds Maillard. Back in 2013, the Boeing 787 experienced battery problems, including combustion due to thermal runaway effects.This is one of the reasons why the EFan X design team conducted a series of tests. “We have performed a lot of tests on everything related to fire propagation from one cell to another, inside the modules, to ensure that we establish the right safety and design rules, to confirm the design before launching the next step.

This year's key milestone is the concept freeze for all major components, as well as integration, since Airbus has the ultimate responsibility for integrating all this equipment into an aircraft. Concerning the aircraft itself, we acquired it last year.This BAe 146 ARJ100, registered in the UK, is currently in storage.We are preparing for a first phase of modification work in 2019, the so-called characterisation phase. As the aircraft will be heavily modified later on, we want to be sure that we have a very clear reference system before starting the modification, so that when we are in the flight test phase, we can perform a detailed analysis of our results and fully understand the results in relation to a given baseline,” comments Maillard. 2021 TARGET.

“The tests are consistent with a flight that will be carried out at the end of 2021. We have a timetable that spans between six and twelve months. In terms of the preliminary phase, there are two key points in 2020 if we want to be ready to fly one year

later, and the start of ground testing is high on the list,” declares Maillard.A large portion of these tests will take place in Germany. "We have invested heavily in a building in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany, which will be used to its full potential.We will receive the different pieces of equipment over the next year that will be integrated on the iron bird test bed, so as to be able to perform a complete functional test.We will have the components in real conditions. Some elements will be specific to the iron bird, such as cooling systems, which will be industrial-type, and not the ones we will have on the aircraft.This is what can be called the limit of the iron bird exercise.That's why we want to fly with a demonstrator, because we know that there are some points that still need work. Like, for example, the thermal modelling aspect — we have huge quantities of heat and we do not yet have any technical solutions.With this demonstrator, we want to confront these challenges as quickly as possible, so we can identify initial solutions in order to have the right tech-


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SPECIAL ISSUE nical solutions for a product launch,” Maillard explains. At the end of the day, the aircraft is neither a commuter nor a prototype of a regional transport aircraft, but a real flying laboratory. “So our demonstrator is purely a platform for the development of technological building blocks. We chose this aircraft, the BAe 146, in order to have a flight envelope very close to that of the A320, typically a ceiling of 30,000 feet, with speeds certainly lower than our cruising speeds but very relevant to our flight tests. We know that at high altitudes, the density of the air means that it no longer plays its role as an insulator as it does on the ground.We will nevertheless try to fly as high as possible, and we have established our initial specifications.We are developing electrical harnesses with insulators designed to fly at these altitudes,” Maillard concludes.


Airbus is not the only one working on a hybrid aircraft concept. United Technologies has announced the launch of a comparable project. In three years’ time, i.e. in 2022, the UTC subsidiary dedicated to rapid prototyping and development, United Technologies Advanced Projects (UTAP), aims to design, build and fly a technology demonstrator equipped with hybrid propulsion. Called Project 804, it will be based on a Bombardier Dash 8 regional aircraft.The aircraft will be re-engined on one side with a 2 megawatt-class propulsion system combining an engine, sized for cruise power, and a similarly sized electric motor adding supplemental power during the 20 minutes required for take-off and climb to cruise altitude. The engine and electric motor will each generate about 1 me-

gawatt of power in a parallel hybrid configuration. In the view of project 804 director Jean Thomassin and Greg Winn, director of programme management, purely electrical architectures in aviation – those in which all the stored energy on the aircraft is in batteries or fuel cell – will be confined to smaller vehicles (~14 passengers) under a 200km range for the foreseeable future, unless there is a fundamental breakthrough in electrical energy storage technologies.They note that hybrid-electric propulsion is a more interesting proposition for business, regional, and large commercial aviation domains. They explain that there are two primary architectures for hybrid-electric systems: 1) serial hybrids, in which electrical energy (augmented via batteries) is used for propulsion but produced by combustion of hydrocarbon fuel on board, and 2) pa-

rallel hybrids, in which a hydrocarbon-powered propulsion system is augmented with electrical energy for portions of the flight. They add that the serial hybrid approach generally yields a slightly lower end-to-end efficiency of the propulsive energy chain but offers potentially significant advantages in terms of the efficiency of the overall aircraft design. The two project leaders continue: “A regional turboprop aircraft requires approximately 2MW to fly at cruise speed.The typical 200-250 nautical mile mission lasts about one hour, including its climb, cruise, and descent, with an average of 2,000kW-hr of energy required to complete the mission.Adding the usual reserve, the aircraft needs to carry about 3,500kWhr of energy per typical flight. Current engines convert about 30% of the fuel energy in useful work therefore the minimum

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 fuel energy on board is around 12,000kW-hr.To power this mission on stored electricity alone, assuming an electrical conversion factor of 85% and a cell packaging weight burden of 35%, a 200 Wh/kg based battery cell system would weigh in excess of the aircraft’s maximum take off weight (MTOW).” ENERGY NEEDS.

Thomassin and Winn go on to explain that, given the large energy needs of even short-haul missions, and near-term energy storage densities, a fully electric

a short period of the mission time, like during take off and early climb.”Thus a suitable application would be a regional turboprop, which requires high take-off power to carry large payloads but flies relatively slowly under relatively low power. Thomassin and Winn further explain: “Project 804 leverages this large ratio between peak power and steady-state power to create significant total energy savings. The propulsion system uses a 50/50 power split, parallel-hybrid configuration between an engine and an electric motor

weight/losses compared to a series architecture.” TECHNOLOGICAL MATURITY.

According to the two officials: “The hybrid-electric system increases the aircraft Operating Empty Weight (OEW), and the aircraft’s fuel capacity is reduced by about 50% to allow for the electrical equipment and energy storage.The remaining fuel mass, combined with the more efficient hybrid-electric system gives the re-engined aircraft a range of approximately 600nm (as com-

a range of aircraft sizes, from general aviation to large commercial jets. Project 804 will also seek to accelerate the readiness of a number of key enablers: hybrid-electric propulsion system eligible for systemwide certification; engine within 1MW power class; integration of significant amount of on-board batteries to support the main propulsion take-off and climb phases of the flight; development of a high- voltage electrical system (1kV); low-loss high-power electronics integration; development of efficient heat ma-


VoltAero’s Cassio 1 hybrid electric aircraft project.

solution to propel a regional turboprop-sized aircraft is out of reach for the short to midterm future. However, they add, “a hybrid-electric solution may be viable, provided it can enable significant fuel savings and justify its onboard presence without limiting overall aircraft capabilities. If a hybrid-electric engine converts 40% of the fuel energy into useful work (as opposed to 30%), it would enable 25% of the fuel energy to be replaced by electrical stored energy in the form of batteries.This stored electrical energy is used for only


(see diagram).The electrical assist is high-power and short-duration allowing the size and weight of the energy storage device to be manageable within the aircraft maximum take off weight.The configuration also allows the engine to be optimized for the cruise portion of the flight only. Full system capability is within the 2MW power class for the 30-50 passenger regional turboprop market. Key advantages include a fault-tolerant architecture, electrical assistance up to 50%, optimized engine for cruise operation, and reduced

pared to the base 1,000nm range). Given that 99% of this airframe’s missions are shorter than 500nm, and that the hybrid-electric system provides an average 30% increase in fuel economy over the missions mix, this is a trade-off that makes both technical and economic sense.” UTAP Project 804 is expected to accelerate the technology readiness level of key components, sub-systems and power management systems for hybrid-electric propulsion.The programme aims to deliver a technology platform that is scalable across

nagement systems and minimized drag penalties. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight in 2022. EASYJET AND WRIGHT.

Paradoxically, one of the players to have announced the launch of an electrically powered transport aircraft concept is not an aircraft manufacturer but an airline —low-cost carrier easyJet, with the help of a U.S. start-up, Wright Electric, named after the American aviation pioneers. According to easyJet, significant progress has been made by


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SPECIAL ISSUE Wright Electric, whose ultimate goal is to develop an electrically powered transport aircraft capable of flying 270 nautical miles (500km) — enough to fly London-Amsterdam, which could well become the first “electric” air route. Wright Electric has filed a patent for a “new type of engine” to power an electric transport aircraft, but has not provided any further details on the proposed architecture. The aircraft will be designed by Darold Cummings, an engineer and consultant previously employed by Boeing.Wright Electric hopes to achieve the first flight of an electric-powered aircraft with nine seats in 2019. The U.S. firm recently carried out a series of flight tests with an electrically powered twoseater, built in cooperation with Axter Aerospace, a company specialising in electric and hybrid propulsion for light aircraft. Wright Electric announced in April 2018 that it was working in partnership with Jetex, a com-

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pany created in 2005 whose ambition is to develop an infrastructure to support electric aircraft operations.The initial target is Dubai, but Jetex intends to ultimately build a global network comprising more than 30 FBOs. Jetex is also planning to invest in the production of the first electric aircraft. Wright Electric hopes to develop a short-haul commercial aircraft using distributed propulsion based on quick-swap battery packs featuring advanced cell chemistry.The aircraft will feature high-aspect-ratio wings in order to ensure elevated energy efficiency.The company claims that is aircraft will be twice as quiet and 10% cheaper than those currently in service.And it places a heavy emphasis on carbon emissions, which will be reduced to near zero. Jeffrey Engler, president of Wright Electric, never fails to point out that air transport as a whole is more harmful to the environment than all the cars in the world.“In fact, flying repre-


sents about 2/3 of the carbon footprint of an American graduate student. Car travel does not even correspond to onetenth of the total sum of this footprint. Aviation alone emits 781 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. By 2050, this volume will reach or exceed 2 billion tonnes. Now is the time to reverse this trend,” says Jeffrey Engler. BIZJETS AND SHORT HAUL.

Wright Electric is targeting the bizjet or short-haul market, but the ultimate goal is to address the long-haul commercial aircraft segment. The company says it is starting with smaller aircraft in order to benefit from the advantages of current batteries and certification standards. For Wright Electric, the main focus is on business aviation, because the electric-propulsion aircraft is intended for short flights in the same way as private bizjet flights. The company has analysed a total of 6,000 flights made in at

least one week in October 2016, finding that 44% of them covered distances of less than 350 nautical miles (650km), using aircraft in the Cessna Citation CJ2, CJ3 and Embraer Phenom 300 category, with fuel consumption close to 150 gallons (660L) per flight hour. Jetex believes that with an autonomy of around 292 nautical miles (540km), an electric aircraft can charge its batteries in Dubai and reach Malaga in Spain before flying on to Casablanca in Morocco. Engler says that Jetex will have charging stations at each of its airports and will help design the aircraft. VOLTAERO, THE FRENCH CONTENDER.

It is not only in the U.S. and the UK, however, that electric aircraft projects are moving forward. The latest project to date is being designed in Royan in southwest France by a company calledVoltAero. The latter is led by two well-known figures from the


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Wright Electric has filed a patent for a “new type of engine” to power an electric transport aircraft.

electric aviation sector who have already accumulated a certain amount of experience — Jean Botti, father of the electric EFan and former Chief Technical Officer at Airbus, and Didier Esteyne, former E-Fan test pilot. Botti and Esteyne are, respectively, Managing Director and Technical Director of VoltAero. TheVoltAero project, known as the Cassio 1, aims to fly a hybrid electric aircraft, powered by two 60kW electric motors and a 150kW rear-mounted electric motor, complemented by a 170kW internal combustion engine. Explaining the choice to use a Cessna 337 Skymaster cell as a flying test bed, Jean Botti emphasizes: “This allows us to get into the air quickly and get to production just as quickly. The choice of this push-pull


aircraft, which is partly produced in France at Reims Aviation, is also reassuring for the certification authorities.” Because it is truly a breakthrough technology that the new company, which already has eleven employees, including nine in the design office, is developing. The Cassio 1 will be equipped with a hybrid-electric propulsion system that, according to the manufacturer, “ensures a safe, quiet, efficient and environmentally friendly flight”. Looking at the project in more detail, the Cassio 1 features a distributed hybrid-electric power system with electric motors and an internal combustion engine in a “push-pull” propulsion configuration that delivers a total power output of 440kW. The “pull” is provided by two forward-facing

60kW electric motors on the wings with variable-pitch propellers. These motors will be mainly used in take-offs and landings, assisted by the rear-mounted electric motor.The “push” comes from a 170kW internal combustion engine that drives a multiblade “pusher” propeller during cruise flight. This engine also is used to charge the on-board batteries for the aircraft’s electric motors. The charge should be around 80%, with the rest being supplied on the ground. Installed along with the internal combustion engine is a 150kW electric motor, which together createVoltAero’s aft-fuselage power module. The power module provides an added safety function, offering an immediate auto-start capability with its electric motor to drive the “pusher” propeller if the for-

ward-facing “puller” electric motors encounter a problem during critical moments of flight, particularly the take-off. To obtain certification of the aircraft in 2021, VoltAero will first fly a Cassio 1 demonstrator based on a Cessna 337 airframe, which is currently being modified, before moving on to the all-composite Cassio 2 prototype. However, few details have been provided on the characteristics of the production aircraft, nor on the cost of ownership, which would allow a comparison to be made with traditional aircraft. The company indicates only that it will have a wingspan of 12m and a flight autonomy of three and a half hours. Cruise speed should be around 300km/h.VoltAero could ultimately produce 150 aircraft per year.


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Alongside the hybrid approach, electric propulsion has also been addressed in the form of distributed propulsion, which is of interest to airframers and engine manufacturers, but also NASA with its X-57 project and Onera, the French aerospace research centre. Onera’s Ampere programme explored this type of propulsion and the benefits it could bring.Though the Ampere programme has now been completed, it will give rise to indirect follow-on projects. Jean Hermetz of Onera explains that, four or five years ago, the centre created a small internal group to investigate electric propulsion for civil aviation. The aim was to identify an area of feasibility based on the different technologies involved in this type of propulsion.This would make it possible to determine the most essential technological building blocks to produce a real system. “We had to identify which

research avenues should be favoured to mature these different technologies so that they would be ready when needed at the industrial level,” says Hermetz, “since our positioning at Onera is to prepare a certain number of breakthrough — or at least sufficiently innovative — technologies to be available when the time is ripe.” This study was carried out with the support of CEA Tech, which focused in particular on energy sources, power electronics and electric motors. ATR-42 OR 72.

“A certain area of feasibility emerged for electric propulsion. Briefly, it extends from light aviation to regional aircraft, roughly an ATR 42, or even an ATR 72 with electric propulsion, which could be hybrid.There are also some possibilities in the all-electric domain. Potentially, there is also a principle of ‘flying differently’,” comments Hermetz. All-electric platforms would

change our conception of flying as we have known it until now. The aircraft would fly slower and lower, over shorter distances. The range of an all-electric aircraft would not exceed 1,000km. “We identified a number of key technologies that we believe could ensure that electric-powered aircraft could emerge in the commercial aviation sector. This includes everything related to distributed propulsion.Ampère is in a way a model of what is expected. The principle is to find a certain number of ways to improve propulsion efficiency,” adds Hermetz, i.e. the continuation of a systematic quest in aeronautics that is not frankly new. When you explore the possibility of powering an electric aircraft using electrical energy sources, you quickly realize that you have to be extremely energy efficient. “One of the ways to be economical is to improve propulsion efficiency but also to find ways to mix a number of aircraft functions, which brings

out other benefits. That is, to find other advantages, operational advantages for example, which justify electric propulsion and which are all the more interesting because the means of doing so combines a certain number of very specific capabilities. If you take distributed propulsion, which is what we're trying to highlight in the case of Ampere, it has several advantages, in particular that of giving us certain high-lift capabilities through the blown wing. We are trying to combine several expected benefits, which are possible because we are using electricity as an energy vector, in order to obtain propulsion with a certain efficiency, to achieve a certain redundancy of the different systems in the propulsion chain — which helps to increase the safety or reliability of the system — and also to benefit from several other advantages, the first of which is the blown wing, which will give us advantages in terms of increased lift at low speed.This is

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the first general idea concerning distributed propulsion,” comments Hermetz. PROPULSION AND LIFT.

The second advantage or function that can be expected from distributed propulsion, from this aspect of both propulsion and lift, is the ability to control, at least partially, the changes of aircraft attitude around its centre of gravity.“Or if you prefer, using the motors to perform certain control functions.This is relatively obvious when you look at a configuration like Ampere, you can see that you will be able to control sideslip asymmetries, reduce the number of control surfaces at the rear of the aircraft, or even eliminate them. In any case, to interact with traditional aerodynamic control surfaces, so as to reduce the power required to move them or even the control surfaces themselves,” adds Hermetz. Thus there are potential gains that Onera believes are positive through the use of this type of propulsion and the fact that it combines a number of essential functions on the aircraft. Having a large number of propulsors, in terms of system reliability or safety, also takes on a different meaning.The loss of one engine out of 40 results in a much lower impact compared to a conventional twin-engine aircraft. “We are extending this principle from the propulsive elements — the electric fans in this case — to everything behind them in terms of energy sources. We have imagined energy sources of a distributed type, again to have redundancy that limits the effects of the failure of any single system and, more precisely, of the propulsion chain — the energy source — on the design and the behaviour of the aircraft,” comments Hermetz. Ampere features 10 energy sources, in the form of fuel cells, which are arranged in such a way that each one powers four engines.The latter are distributed in such a way that in the event


of a failure of one of the propulsors, the consequences in terms of flight — asymmetric effects in particular — are as limited as possible on the overall propulsion system. Distributed propulsion is a solution that combines a number of advantages, triggered by the use of electricity as an energy vector. “We couldn't do distributed propulsion without using electricity to distribute the motors. If we had to do the same thing with small turbofan engines, we would lose a lot of thermal efficiency.The behaviour is absolutely not the same when turbofan engines are resized to ‘miniaturize’ them.” This architecture is therefore only viable with electricity, from which a number of advantages are derived, such as lift augmentation, aircraft command and control capabilities, wing blowing, which provides us with lowspeed lift and intrinsic redundancy of the entire system, which improves flight reliability and safety,” Hermetz continues. HYPERBARIC TANKS.

The biggest problem, if there is one, revolves around the weight of the aircraft. Because electric propulsion implies batteries or hydrogen fuel cells and consequently, the loss of any potential weight gain. “The aircraft as it is designed today responds in particular to demand for mobility from the U.S., i.e. the ability to fly from point A to point B very simply and without any particular pilot skills, in a safe manner, with short take-off and landing, in urban areas and without pollutant emissions. Hence the use of fuel cells, which offer an efficiency of 50% (much better than an internal combustion engine), powered by hydrogen, which is stored in hyperbaric tanks placed adjacent to the cabin, at the rear and at the centre of gravity... But this all adds up to a lot of weight. The decision to take electric propulsion on board carries a weight penalty.The mass-energy

ratio is about 60 between jet fuel and a modern lithium-ion battery. In other words, it takes 60 times more weight to carry the same energy as that supplied by fossil fuel if you want to do so using lithium-polymer or lithium-ion batteries. If you want to make a 100% electric aircraft, there is no electrical power source that matches jet fuel. It is paid for in volume and weight, I should say essentially in weight. Applied to Ampere, the aircraft which is intended for four or six people will weigh 2.4t.The wingspan will be relatively large at 14.50m, but this is still reasonable,” adds Hermetz. A 14.50m wing is certainly much more than a Robin DR400, but less than one might think, since the wingspan of the single-engine plane is 8.72m. That’s less than double.This wing will house the power electronics, converters and the buses carrying the three-phase current to the electric motors. All this while keeping cable length as short as possible, with a strong current generating signals that could lead to electronic interference. The metal wing is preferred because of the high current flow, potential disruptions, but also for the dissipation of heat generated and released by the fuel cells and the power electronics. “We created a concept plane that can fly, that is not only an artist's drawing.This allowed us to investigate the aeropropulsion aspect.Wind tunnel tests confirmed our calculations and allowed us to observe the behaviour of this configuration in limit conditions. In this case, what is of particular interest to us is the stall behaviour at large angles of attack. Distributed propulsion will help to reattach the air flow when the aircraft is flying but not when it is at low speed and in unusual flight patterns.We wanted to investigate stall conditions with this type of propulsion. As this is an innovative propulsion system, these are things that we do not necessarily know how to predict well today by calculation.



We would thus be able to confirm, before performing complementary wind tunnel tests, our overall knowledge of the behaviour of this type of propulsion system on an aircraft,” Hermetz explains. FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS.

The wind tunnel tests would also provide inputs for databases on flight characteristics. In other words, what to expect from a combination of traditional aerodynamic control surfaces and the use of engines as a means of controlling aircraft movement around its centre of gravity.“This will also allow us to build the flight control laws for an aircraft of this type. It is hard to imagine a pilot faced with 32 engine control levers! We will therefore have to use a computer, which will be positioned in the flight control loop, on an aircraft of this type. There is no other way of doing this. We also know that the effects will not be fully linear, that many of them will not be manageable by a human pilot. So the computer will be an es-


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NASA’s X-57 project.

sential aid; there will be very specific control laws for this type of propulsion,” comments Hermetz. Since this time, the Ampere programme has been completed. “We continued the wind tunnel tests to build up a complete aerodynamic model and then developed control laws based on the combination of conventional control surfaces and differential thrust motors. These laws were tested on a simulator, but were not ultimately implemented in a computer in the sense of an autopilot: for this to be of interest from the point of view of testing — i.e. to test these laws under representative flying conditions — they would have to be implemented on a free-flying demonstrator (remotely operated or optionally operated by a pilot on board, depending on the scale). Unfortunately, this was not possible within the project budget and the palliative solution imagined at one time in the wind tunnel was not sufficient to justify the developments,” comments Hermetz. Nonetheless, the conclusions are positive, since distributed

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propulsion as implemented on Ampere makes it possible to significantly increase lift at low speed, beyond what a conventional high-lift system does on an aircraft of this type. “It can be operated across a full flight envelope that extends beyond that of an equivalent conventional aircraft, and the control laws developed ensure the aircraft can be safely flown using the propulsion system along some axes while significantly reducing certain aerodynamic control surfaces,” Hermetz notes. To date, there is no real follow-on to Ampere.“Nonetheless, we have used the experience and expertise acquired as a basis for other projects involving distributed propulsion in different sectors, for example in the CleanSky 2 programme, where Onera is proposing the Dragon configuration. Other projects are being developed with our industry partners to continue these investigations, and we are playing an active role,” explains Hermetz. Distributed propulsion is still at an early development stage, with a low level of tech-


nological maturity. “Distributed propulsion is facilitated by the use of electricity as the energy vector, and, depending on the flight regime and configuration, it could offer multifunctional advantages, such as wing blowing, boundary layer ingestion, controlling the aircraft via propulsion, etc. It has some other intrinsic advantages such as redundancy of propulsion systems and reduction of unit power levels,” Hermetz comments.The objective is to start assessing the reality of these benefits and to estimate as much as possible their limitations and the main controlling parameters. “This work is laying the groundwork for possible adoption by industry as a result of a demonstrated potential, and it is our intention to move forward in this direction. Finally, the impact of distributed propulsion on the aircraft configuration renders adoption more complex — and increases the risk — for a whole host of reasons, not only technical but also industrial and economic.” Ampere did indeed have a follow-on, Dragon, developed

by Onera with the aim of analysing in detail the advantages and disadvantages of distributed electric propulsion for an aircraft carrying 150 passengers at a cruise speed close to Mach 0.8. Featuring a large number of electric fans located close to the wing trailing edge, the powertrain integration chosen for Dragon improves the aircraft's propulsion efficiency. Compared to an airliner introduced in 2014, the integration of distributed electric propulsion, combined with the expected advances in aircraft components by 2035, would reduce fuel consumption by more than 25% for a flight of 800 nautical miles (or 1,400km). The benefits associated with electric propulsion alone are between 5 and 10%, which is considerable, compared to the gains usually offered on conventional aircraft such as those currently in service. Equipped with two turbines burning jet fuel to generate electricity, the Dragon hybrid concept is a step towards new generations of transport aircraft with zero carbon emissions in the longer term. ■ Antony Angrand


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Airbus is working on the CityAirbus project.

ith nearly 170 electric aircraft programmes under development — probably 200 by the end of this year — electric aviation is a fast-growing market. Particularly in the urban air transport segment, which accounts for the highest number of programmes, with a surge since mid-2018, which has increased the number of concepts and/or projects by 50%. Aircraft manufacturers like Airbus and Bell have joined the race, alongside some more exotic participants, such as luxury car maker Aston Martin or Uber, to mention two of the better-known ones. The latest to have launched a programme is Airbus, which announced the first flight of the CityAirbus technology demonstrator on 3rd May, a tethered flight in which the aircraft remained anchored to the ground by safety cables.“Technological demonstrator means that this aircraft will be tested in flight and the results will be incorporated into the development of a prototype, which will be very similar to a future production aircraft,” comments CityAirbus programme manager Marius Bebesel. “One of the aims of this test was to assess in more detail the performance of the propulsion and control systems,” commented Airbus.


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SPECIAL ISSUE The technology demonstrator was first tested on the ground in Taufkirchen, Germany, using an Iron Bird. This equipment allowed pre-flight testing of the entire CityAirbus propulsion system, developed by Airbus' EAircraft Systems department. This electric propulsion test bench made it possible to reproduce and operate the entire propulsion chain, from flight controls to the propeller dynamic loads, to check electrical, mechanical and thermal performance. Once mature and verified on the Iron Bird, the propulsion system was integrated onto the demonstrator in mid-2018. This vehicle was partly developed and produced by Siemens as part of the cooperation between the two companies. CityAirbus is designed to carry up to four passengers over cities with congested road traffic, using all-electric propulsion, i.e. lithium batteries feeding a total of four electric motors driving four ducted pairs of rotors.“Electric propulsion makes it possible to fly without the pollution or noise associated with internal combustion engines. Thanks to its electric motors and ducted rotors, we have a good baseline in terms of reducing the noise footprint. This also means that we can change the configuration of the aircraft, so that it is cheaper to operate than a helicopter. But at the same time, its mission spectrum is very limited. Like the other eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles, its speed and range are limited, and intended only for transportation in urban environments,” adds Bebesel. While electric propulsion offers undeniable advantages, the use of batteries as the energy source is not necessarily viewed by Airbus as the concept that will be adopted on an urban air taxi intended for series production.“Our tests will allow us to gain valuable knowledge in this area. Batteries will be recharged or exchanged between flights; these two options are possible

and we have not yet made a decision on this subject. Batteries are the most sophisticated energy sources for aircraft.We are testing the demonstrator with batteries, but we remain open to other energy sources if better solutions emerge.We believe that hydrogen offers interesting alternatives. What is important for us is that the vehicle remains neutral in terms of CO2 emissions,” continues Bebesel. BELL’S HYBRID SOLUTION.

Bell, meanwhile, has opted for a mixed solution, i.e. a hybrid propulsion system. Bell unveiled its Nexus air taxi configuration, accompanied by a full-scale model of theVTOL aircraft at the Consumer Electronics Show which took place in Las Vegas on 8th11th January.The Bell Nexus air taxi is powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system that implements Bell's own powered lift concept, with six tilting ducted fans. While Bell is leading the design, development and production of the vertical take-off and landing systems, Safran is providing the hybrid drivetrain and propulsion systems. Other companies involved in the programme include Electric Power Systems (which is supplying the energy storage systems), Thales (flight control computer hardware and software), Moog (flight control actuation systems) and Garmin (integration of avionics and the vehicle management computer).The Hybrid Electric Propulsion System (HEPS), is capable of producing more than 600kWe. It was bench tested in June 2018 at a power of 100kWe. An HEPS operates by distributing thermal and electrical energy to multiple rotors according to the different phases of flight. It consists of three subsystems: an energy-generating system, including a turbogenerator and batteries; an electrical power management system; and electric motors that provide lift and propulsion.This is the type of system developed by Safran.


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Safran hybrid propulsion test bench.

One of the main characteristics of the urban air taxi market is its high level of reactivity. Stéphane Cueille — who is president of France’s CORAC civil aerospace research council, chairman of the governing board of the European Clean Sky research programme and Senior Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer, R&T and Innovation at Safran — comments that the development of these aircraft is much faster than that of conventional transport aircraft designed for airline service.This explains the exponential emergence of new urban air taxi concepts in recent months, and the surprising proximity of demonstration flights, some of which are announced for 2021.This has led some manufacturers to review their design procedures, more precisely their prototyping and industrialisation methods. DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIALISATION.

“Early in 2014, we started to oapply Safran’s RTDI (Research Technology Development Industrialisation) process.This process is intended to merge technological innovation with a vision of the product through concurrent engineering.We thus


introduced an industrial and development vision into the R&T prototypes so that they would comply with the constraints of the new generations of aircraft," explains Sonia Dhokkkar, who is product line manager at Safran Electrical & Power. She continues:“These are advanced specifications. The industrialisation of a technological solution identified on a given product is the main focus of these developments.This allows us to encourage innovation while monitoring its integration into new products with controlled costs, accelerated development cycles and a higher level of maturity ensuring that our prototypes can be qualified in their environment.These prototypes, which are destined to perform flight demonstrations, are representative of finished products. Typically, the propulsion system for the Bell Nexus is the best example. The series-produced version of this equipment will not change drastically. Feedback from the flight test campaign will allow us to refine and modify certain things, but the product itself already incorporates all the constraints of series production.” Dhokkar explains:“As product line manager, I standardised the

technological building block approach. In 2017, the first demonstrator to integrate the modular logic of building blocks was an all-electric taxiing system, produced in partnership with Safran Landing Systems. This project was a great success with a flight demonstration, which demonstrated the competitiveness, maturity and efficiency of an electric actuation system as a replacement for a hydraulic system. Developed in a year and a half, the development cycle for this system was compressed by a factor of three.” This prototyping and construction logic led Dhokkar directly to another project, which resulted in Safran submitting a propulsion system offer to Bell, as part of what would become the Nexus. “Safran then launched the development of the smart machine,” Dhokkar adds.“This highly integrated equipment was designed to meet the constraints, mainly relating to weight and volume, to be able to offer a plug and play solution.The first smart engine, in the form of a prototype, was developed in May 2017, based on an idea launched at the end of 2016.This technological solution allowed us to push the back the limits by seeking to


PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 achieve maximum performance. It was used as part of a static demonstration on a 100kW ground test bench on aVTOL, with the help of Safran Helicopter Engines. This bench integrated electrical power generation, a rectifier and four smart motors driven in parallel for a hybrid propulsion platform, with Safran Helicopter Engines contributing the APU, which integrated the generator. The energy was rectified, and we could control the four motors and their propellers.” “This demonstration, which took place at the end of 2017, was designed to assess the gain and performance of smart engines from a functional point of view,” Dhokkar continues.“Previously, in May 2017, we had already thought about taking integration even further and gaining in terms of power density on our smart engines. This led us to launch our second generation of smart engines, ENGINeUS 45. We were able to gain in integration and power density. To give you an idea, on the first smart engine prototype we achieved a power density of 2kW/kg. For the same performance, on the ENGINeUS 45 second standard, we were around 2.5kW/kg. The gain was considerable, with the same functions.” Dhokkar concludes:“With the opportunity of the demonstrator for Bell, we extrapolated the smart machine logic to smart generation. The GENeUS smart generator delivers electrical power, rectifies it, feeds it to a DC bus and distributes it to the various smart motors. On this basis, we started proposing active rectification on the generation system, allowing a direct interface with the battery. Power management of the electric propulsion chain is achieved with a central unit called GENeUSGRID.This allowed us to offer complete management of the electric propulsion chain,whether hybrid or all-electric. It was on the basis of this technical proposal that we were selected by Bell to address the complete electrical system for the Nexus demonstrator.”


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Bell’s Nexus air taxi.

Both Bell and Airbus, share a vision of urban air taxis in autonomous mode. But before arriving at this stage, where passengers can board the aircraft, make their journey and arrive at their destination, there will likely be at least one or even two transitional stages. PILOT ON BOARD?

The future of the urban air taxi, destined one day to be autonomous and unmanned, will begin with... the presence of at least one pilot on board. On this point, almost all manufacturers, including Airbus and Bell, share the same opinion.“CityAirbus can fly without a pilot, but for reasons of public acceptance, an operator will be present on board during an initial phase, so that he can take action in case of an emergency,” comments Bebesel. It will most likely be necessary to


“educate” the public and prepare passengers for the absence of a commercial pilot in the cockpit. Taking a broader view, the electric or hybrid urban air taxi faces two problems. The first is the question of the applicable regulations and not only in terms of type certification. The most popular is Certification Specification CS23, whose updated versions make it possible to define objectives to be achieved by giving designers more freedom, thus allowing the emergence of innovative projects where designers have to justify the level of safety. This is why it is of particular interest to companies, start-ups or aircraft manufacturers with an urban air taxi concept, project or demonstrator. The problem of type certification nevertheless remains minor compared to that of the absence

of a pilot in what will be equivalent to a cockpit, because it depends on advances in artificial intelligence and avionics.These rely first and foremost on advances in algorithms. But, not just any algorithms. “Implementing a form of avionics or pilot aid is based on so-called learning algorithms, which are not necessarily deterministic, and this is a major problem from a certification point of view. Because the fact that this algorithm is not completely determined, that we cannot predict at the design stage the spatial and temporal output of its operation, is a real problem. Nonetheless, these are very powerful tools, so it is normal for designers to be interested in them,” says Jean-Christophe Sarrazin, head of the cognitive engineering research unit at the French aerospace research centre, Onera. The future interactions bet-

ween the avionics and the pilot constitute a real issue. Coming back to the example mentioned above, speech recognition is a way of interacting with a system. “First of all, are we dealing with learning or deterministic avionics, in the sense that the capabilities of action given with the operator have nothing to do with the nature of the avionics, which is implemented. We have to distinguish the nature of the avionics, i.e. the algorithm, from the way we want to interact with humans.This can raise a number of questions.There are learning algorithms, which are quite powerful since they are based on neural networks (a system whose original design is schematically inspired by the functioning of biological neurons), tools characterised by a fairly large number of variables, very powerful from a computational point of view


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SPECIAL ISSUE - they can learn and predict many things, but at the same time be very silent about how they function.That is, you have a pattern of input data, a response that can be made as the output, but the way the algorithm worked to give you an answer remains very opaque. It is very difficult for the operator to understand what happened,” Sarrazin cautions. One of the challenges today is to be able to design avionics with fairly significant computational capabilities, such as learning algorithms, while providing the operator with a certain amount of information so that this algorithm remains understandable by the operator.“It is a real issue in the sense that the question is how this artificial, or conversational, agent will cooperate with the human agent. For this cooperation to be effective, it must be understandable. In terms of certification, it is an important issue because if an algorithm is understandable, it is much more easily accepted by the user and this is one of the important criteria in the certification process,” notes Sarrazin. These systems are of interest to manufacturers because the safety requirements are elevated in aviation.To achieve this level of requirements, it was necessary to automate and develop a certain number of systems, which have to some extent replaced the activity of the operator, who is not infallible.“Today, the idea is to progress towards increasingly autonomous systems, while keeping the operator, the user, the pilot in the loop.This is already the case: there are very advanced systems that are characterised by a very large number of possibilities, of mode transitions, such as on Airbus autopilots where there are close to 500 possible transitions, which is very complex.When the pilot or crew has to monitor the system, it is imperative that the autopilot be able to give information so that they can follow its history,” Sarrazin explains.

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“Today, the way things are evolving is radically different. We are no longer in the situation where we have a crew monitoring totally deterministic equipment, but a kind of electronic co-pilot who manages a certain number of automatic systems and gives the crew a certain amount of information about what it is doing. For the crew to remain in the loop and regain control effectively, if necessary, this electronic co-pilot must be sufficiently understandable and predictable,” insists Sarrazin. The MMT (Man Machine Teaming) project is an upstream research project concerning in particular artificial intelligence and its advantages in the design of digital electronic agents in interaction with the crew or pilot. “This has given rise to about 30 research themes in this call for projects, all of which have a com-

are several possible avenues.The first would be extreme automation, which would involve human intervention limited to that of an air traffic controller, giving high-level orders, managing separations; it would be compatible with much more natural means of visualisation and interaction. In our jargon, we speak of ‘enactive’ systems, that is, interactions that are not symbolic or numerical, and that exist only in the fact of acting. This means the visualisation of a situation through virtual or augmented reality systems. Can we have a remote visualisation so that, from time to time, the controller can take control of a particular aircraft and restore optical, gravito-inertial physics, comparable to what he would feel in the plane? This type of technology could be of interest in special situations.”


mon denominator, that of the interaction between the individual and smart systems,” says Sarrazin. Future developments in avionics also concern a sector that is the focus of multiple projects, that of urban air transport on demand.Airbus, Bell, Uber, but also China and other French companies are interested in this mode of transport. It is certainly in this area that developments are most likely to be expected, since the aim is eventually to make this transport mode — these future automatic vehicles — unmanned, at least without the physical presence of a pilot in the cockpit or whatever takes its place. Sarrazin declares: “There are automation projects, but there will still be a remote operator. It is clear that this will completely change the way he works, but also the way he perceives.There



As was the case with the sound barrier, there will inevitably be transitional phases, as there were before the first aircraft achieved Mach 1, which will be difficult to manage. “It is conceivable that, within this transition phase, the ability to design and build autonomous systems that behave like manned systems will be a major challenge. For example, should the way in which an autonomous vehicle behaves be similar to an aircraft operated in situ? Before switching to fully automated aircraft, will the crew be limited to a single pilot? And if this is the case, will we be able to design design artificial agents that are sufficiently understandable or that function in an anthropomorphic way, i.e. following thought patterns comparable to those of humans? Will we be

able, in this man-machine interaction, to characterise the status of different cognitive functions? First, does he have the capability and if not, will the agent be able to handle certain phases of flight? Between the extreme state, which is easy to characterise, and other states, there is stress, the pilot's ability to assimilate new information, to use it effectively, not to mention fatigue," observes Sarrazin. Characterising the pilot's condition in a more or less constrained interval of time during these transition phases with sufficient robustness, taking into account the disruptions encountered in the cockpit, may not be easy. In Sarrazin’s view:“Measuring the electrical activity of a brain remains very complicated in an environment with a high degree of electromagnetic pollution. Adapting the way in which the artificial agent will take over or liberate a certain number of functions raises very important questions. For the moment, as far as this transition phase is concerned, I think we have made good progress on the stable state, that is, the one that could be observed when everything is autonomous.We get out of the operator loop, we simplify a number of things.” Work on the interaction with the pilot, the individual, whether it is the issue of active control, supervision or interaction with an intelligent system, has hardly started. “Today, characterising an individual's condition at different levels of analysis, outside a laboratory environment, remains quite limited beyond the traditional states of disability. Measuring the oxygen level in the blood, for example, is straightforward. But it is all the intermediate states that are very difficult, very complex to characterise, such as the phenomena of tunnelling, fatigue, stress. Doing that in a robust way with data in an aeronautical environment, we are very far from that...” Sarrazin concludes. ■ Antony Angrand


INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP IN AEROSPACE May 13–17, 2020 Berlin ExpoCenter Airport

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MARKET W SET TO SOAR UnmAnneD AeriAl sysTems (or Drones) Are becoming An increAsingly FAmiliAr sighT AnD The mArkeT For civil sysTems is expAnDing rApiDly. even in non-miliTAry ApplicATions, hoWever, recenT evenTs hAve shoWn ThAT Drones cAn represenT A DAnger or A ThreAT in cerTAin environmenTs or in The Wrong hAnDs. hence The groWing neeD For eFFecTive AnTi-Drone sysTems.


hile applications that could have a radical impact on our daily lives have emerged (delivery of parcels, blood bags and medicines, inspections of dangerous areas, search and rescue missions...), drones can also sometimes pose a threat. Indeed, the emergence of drones sometimes goes hand in hand with a malicious or noncollaborative use of this technology.. AAlthough regulations exist in many countries around the world, often including definition of nofly zones, some drone operators still venture into these restricted

areas. Their actions are not necessarily hostile, sometimes the drone has simply flown off course, but this still poses a security problem for sensitive sites. Operators with hostile intentions, on the other hand, pose multiple threats: industrial espionage, delivery of explosive charges, taking pictures within private properties...To manage these threats, critical infrastructure managers and organisers of public events are exploring the use of anti-drone systems. Today, anti-drone technologies address at least one of the security issues associated with these aircraft: detection, identification or neutralisation. The systems required


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Dedrone’s DroneTracker system can detect drones over a mile away from a protected site.

Neutralisation solutions any companies have specialised in the development of UAv neutralisation technologies. Whether large, medium or small, the majority of these companies have focused on jamming technology, although this solution has its limitations. Jamming systems come in multiple forms but they all work in much the same way. They detect the radio frequencies emitted by the drones and disrupt them, thus cutting the connection between the drone and the ground station. The drone, no longer receiving communications, will then land, activate the "return to home" mode and return to its takeoff point or crash. one UAv neutralisation technology that has come onto the market is the anti-drone gun. This system can only be used to neutralise the drone, though it can be coupled with a detection system. These guns vary in size, some of them being quite large — e.g. open Works engineering's skywall system, whose mobile version, skywall 100, weighs 12kg. This system projects a net or transmits radio signals to block communications between the drone and the operator. A fixed version of the system also exists, the skywall 300, and several companies now offer fixed and mobile versions of their anti-drone system. mc2 Technologies offers the scrambler 100, a fixed system composed of omnidirectional antennas allowing 360° coverage and thus jamming communications within the protected zone. The same company has also developed the nerod F5 jamming gun. Drone shield has also developed an anti-drone gun that can disrupt the signal received by the aircraft. The Dronegun Tactical, weighing just over 3kg, has a range of one kilometre. ixi Technology's Drone killer can neutralize a target up to 800m by interfering


to carry out these three functions are mainly produced by defence manufacturers and are not affordable solutions for everyone. Moreover, in military systems, the technology used to neutralise drones is mainly based on jamming. In many countries, however, such equipment is designated as military hardware and the use of such devices is prohibited by law — only designated agencies, such as the military, police, prison authorities and customs services, may be allowed to use them. Most neutralisation technologies, therefore, cannot be used by civil agents or security guards. In addition, the use of

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with the gps connection or the command and control link. The battelle Drone Defender system, meanwhile, has a range of 400m and two hours’ autonomy. The pistol-sized Dropster from Droptec projects a net, which immobilises the drone’s rotor blades and thus neutralises the aircraft. Among larger counter-drone systems, lockheed martin has developed the vehicle-mounted Advanced Test high energy Asset (AThenA) system, based on the company’s 30kW Accelerated laser Demonstration initiative (AlADin) spectral beam combining fibre laser. AThenA is an upgrade to the Area Defense Antimunitions (ADAm) system, which used a commercially available 10kW laser. According to the manufacturer, a sensor locates the target and cues an infrared tracking camera. The operator selects the aim point on the target using a fine infrared sensor. The laser beam applies intense heat that dazzles, damages or destroys the target. The American manufacturer has also developed the icArUs system to identify and intercept commercially available drones. its multi-spectral sensor system detects and characterises incoming drones and uses “cyber electromagnetic activity” to disable it or allow the operator to take control of the drone and move it to a safe area. in the same category of vehicle-mounted directed-energy solutions, raytheon has developed and tested counter-drone systems based on high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves. A French company called roboost, meanwhile, has developed a different kind of neutralisation technique, which allows it to take control of the drone by saturating it with information. The roboost system can also be used to identify the location of the drone operator.


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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 jammers can interfere with local communication systems and thus impact security in the area. A comprehensive all-in-one anti-drone solution must be capable of accomplishing three tasks: detection, identification and neutralisation.A drone cannot be neutralised without first knowing its position. It has to enter the field of view of the countermeasure operator before the system can be switched on. Similarly, the detection of the drone alone is not enough to ensure protection, especially during major public events. Even if detected, there is nothing to prevent the drone from continuing to operate in the protected area. Finally, one of the major challenges of anti-drone systems is the identification of the drone operator. Being able to find the operator is crucial. Only then can the threat be completely neutralised. The race to develop antidrone systems, therefore, currently involves multiple manufacturers and research centres. A variety of solutions are being proposed, with different degrees of effectiveness. One of the challenges is to provide protection of airport infrastructure, where the presence of civil aircraft limits the ability to deploy jamming systems. Everyone remembers the events that took place at Gatwick Airport in December 2018. Following the closure of the runways, air traffic was heavily disrupted and thousands of travellers were affected.The financial impact of this drone intrusion was considerable.These facilities, therefore, need to rapidly adopt solutions to reinforce their security. Similarly, the protection of military air bases is a major concern for military staff. In both cases, the presence of aircraft (whether civil or military) complicates the quest for solutions.

Interceptor drones ne of the more surprising concepts being proposed to counter rogue UAvs is the drone capable of intercepting other drones that have been identified as threatening or dangerous. A French company, Dronetix, is developing the ouranos beta which is designed for autonomous interception of rogue drones. The sparrowhawk developed by a british company, search systems, is in the same category. The solution is based on the responder multi-copter, which is designed to project an entanglement net onto an intruder aircraft using images collected by its electro-optical and infrared cameras. ohio-based Theiss UAv solutions is also proposing an aerial netting system, dubbed excipio, to neutralise remotely operated aircraft. The net becomes entangled in the rotors of the rogue drone, which causes it to drop to the ground. it is also possible to keep the net attached to the excipio, so that you can choose where to deposit the captured vehicle. The net gun-equipped Drone catcher system proposed by a Dutch company,


Delft Dynamics, also offers the possibility of transporting the captured drone at the end of a cable. if the intercepted drone is too heavy, a parachute is used to drop the aircraft to the ground. A U.s. firm, Airspace, also uses an interceptor drone as part of its Airspace galaxy security platform, which combines input from multiple sensors to detect drone activity at long ranges. According to the company, the systems fuse data from radio-frequency sensors and cameras into a single graphical user interface that is coupled with Artificial intelligence (Ai) and machine learning to create actionable intelligence. A drone is then deployed to capture the intruder aircraft. Within major industrial groups, raytheon has developed the coyote, a tube-launched expendable drone equipped with a seeker and warhead. The target is acquired and tracked using an advanced electronically scanned array (AesA) ku-band radio frequency system (kFrs) multi-mission radar. coyotes can be flown individually or in swarms.

Rafael’s Drone Dome solution detects drone intrusions using radar.




According to a recent report by GlobalData — Counter-unmanned aerial system (UAS) technologies – Key drivers, trends


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SPECIAL ISSUE and new developments — the anti-drone market is set to grow considerably in coming years due to the proliferation of remotely piloted aircraft. In addition to burgeoning sales of drones — a market worth an estimated $153bn — the applications for which unmanned platforms are used are driving the development of solutions to protect sensitive sites and events. The report recalls the incidents that took place at Heathrow and Gatwick airports this winter, but one could also mention attacks by non-state actors using modified drones capable of carrying explosive charges.The attack on President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela last summer is an example. In addition, the emergence of drone swarms, as used during an attack on a Russian base in Syria, also underlines concerns about how to protect critical infrastructure. The use of drone swarms highlights the need to be able to cope with several drones simultaneously. At the same time, ongoing work in the field of artificial intelligence should reinforce the autonomy of drones and increase their capabilities.This is a positive development, as it will increase the precision of missions conducted by drones. In the wrong hands, however, these miniature air vehicles could cause heavy damage. KEEPING PACE WITH TECHNOLOGY.

Anti-drone systems must be designed to allow for easy upgrading to take into account the evolution of drone technology. Remotely piloted aircraft will be constantly upgraded to improve their performance. Software updates will also be introduced. Anti-drone technologies will have to keep pace with these technology advances.The GlobalData report underlines that anti-drone solutions will have to be flexible in order to counter the proliferation of drones and the increasing number of military and non-state entities using un-

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Spotting the intruder etection is an essential part of any anti-drone solution — it makes it possible to understand the nature of the threat and to deploy the necessary countermeasures. moreover, since neutralisation technologies cannot be used in all cases, detection is sometimes the only element of protection for managers of sensitive infrastructure. if an intruder is detected, the incident can be reported to the authorities, who can then intervene or take the necessary steps to avoid information leaks or risks of collision. Accordingly, many players have been attracted to the drone detection market. The technologies most often employed are radars adapted to the low altitudes where small drones operate, and cameras coupled with artificial intelligence which can detect the presence of rogue objects. lancaster, Uk-based rinicom has developed the sky patriot detection, tracking and classification solution which uses fixed and pan-tilt-zoom cameras to detect the presence of a drone at a distance of 800 metres. several drones can be spotted simultaneously, according to rinicom. A French company, orelia, has developed the Drone Detector system. The system can be deployed as a network of sensors to create a detection barrier. This solution focuses on the acoustic signature emitted by any kind of electrical drone. According to the company, it is able to detect drones without radio Frequency links (when on auto-pilot) and that are invisible to radar (small and plastic drones). if a drone is detected, an alert is sent to security personnel. The Fencepost solution proposed by general Atomics electromagnetic systems of the U.s. is also based on the detection of drones by their acoustic signature. The system is claimed to provide a range of tracking and data collection capabilities and visualisations, including early warning alerts with target bearings, multiple simultaneous threat detection and tracking, and 3D-track of targets. Another U.s. firm, Alion science and Technology, is offering solutions based on radars coupled with artificial intelligence to detect the presence of intruder drones. Uk-based kelvin hughes, a subsidiary of hensoldt, has also developed a radar optimised for the detection of small aircraft, a niche on which liteye (U.s.)


has also established itself with its ADis solution, as well as Qinetiq (Uk), with its obsidian radar. crFs (U.s), meanwhile, uses a network of rFeye nodes to passively detect and identify the presence of rF transmissions that relate to drones. The transmissions can be geolocated in 3D to give the location of the drone, its flight height and air speed. multiple drones can be simultaneously tracked and identified. The skyTracker system proposed by cAci (U.s.) detects drones by monitoring the radio frequencies emitted by the aircraft. Three versions of this system have been


Thales Gecko camera in vehicle-mounted configuration. developed: coriAn protects fixed installations; AWAir can be installed on a vehicle or boat to protect convoys on land and sea; the small Form Factor solution is a man-packable system for protection of deployed units. Thales has also developed detection systems, which are not exclusively designed for drones. The gecko camera can be installed on a vehicle or mounted on a fixed station. it can form part of a complete UAv detection and neutralisation system, including a communication jammer, according to Thales. The company’s squire solution is a man-portable medium-range ground surveillance radar that can detect and classify moving targets on, or close to, the ground at ranges up to 48km. Finally, china’s DJi — world leader in commercial drones — has developed the DJi Aeroscope solution to detect commercial drones operating in no-fly zones.


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All-in-one solutions etection and neutralisation, tion that can be adapted to different to have the ability to defeat drone though essential, do not on types of infrastructure. Apollo shield swarms, at distances up to 9km. their own provide a compre(U.s.), in addition to detecting and The xpeller system from hensoldt of hensive response to the threat posed neutralising UAvs, claims to have the germany combines sensor data from by drones. A complete solution combi- capability to detect the location of the different sources with latest data ning detection, identification and neudrone operator. The boreades system, fusion, signal analysis and jamming tralisation constitutes the most effecdeveloped by a French firm, cs, technologies. it uses radars, optical tive response, although many allows the user to jam and deceive the and other sensors (including close-in observers point out that there is curdrone's navigation system, take rF detectors and acoustic sensor from rently no perfect system on the marcontrol of the drone, select the recotwo Danish firms, my Defence and ket. belgrade, montana-based Ascent very point and estimate the location of squarehead, respectively) to detect vision Technologies has developed x the drone operator. san Franciscoand identify the drone and assess its madis (expeditionary mobile Air Defense integrated systems), which is Hensoldt’s Xpeller system combines sensor data from different sources. available in fixed-site, mobile and onthe-move variants. The system uses a combination of optical sensors, radars and jammer to protect against the threat of drones and neutralise the intruder if necessary. italy’s selex es - Finmeccanica has developed the Falcon shield solution, featuring multi-spectral sensing capability and an electronic Attack capability that provides users with the ability to take control and effect an rF management disruption, denial or defeat of the threat. Uk-based Drone Defence has developed a range of products to detect drone intrusions and block the control signal using a jammer. Another Uk firm, Quantum Aviation, is offering Droneprotect, which uses radio frequency, Wi-Fi, radar and electro-optical cameras to locate the drone and trigger an alert. A jamming system then neutralises the drone. The system was used to ensure airspace security HENSOLDT at the london 2012 olympics. A French firm, exavision, also offers a comprehensive solution to detect, based Dedrone has also developed a threat potential at ranges up to several identify and neutralise rogue drones. solution with the ability to locate the kilometers. based on an extensive The exavision solution uses optical or drone operator. The company’s threat library and real-time analysis of laser systems to dazzle the drone, DroneTracker system gathers intellicontrol signals a jammer then interalong with directional jammers to gence from various sensors, including rupts the link between drone and opeblock communications between the radio frequency and Wi-Fi scanners, rator and/or its navigation. israel’s drone and the ground or between the microphones, and cameras. According rafael has developed the Drone drone and the gps satellite, allowing to Dedrone, it can detect drones — Dome, which detects drone intrusions the operator to take control of the including swarms — over a mile away using radar. The target can then be intruder. from a protected site and determine destroyed by laser, or a jammer can be my Defence, a Danish firm, offers the communications protocol of the to used to block communications. The several anti-drone products, capable drone and its flight path. Dedrone’s elTA systems subsidiary of iAi, of detecting and neutralising rogue air- software is a machine learning network meanwhile, is offering Drone guard, craft. The latest offering, knox, comusing information from a proprietary described as a multi-sensor, multibines rF sensors, radar, eo/ir and database. The sky net solution propo- layer solution to detect, identify and jammers to create an end-to-end solu- sed by kirintec of the Uk also claims disrupt hostile UAvs.




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In Search Systems’ Sparrowhawk solution, an entanglement net is projected onto the intruder aircraft.

manned vehicles — whether systems capable of transporting heavy payloads or mini- and micro-surveillance drones. Clearly, the counter-measures to be implemented against a combat aircraft-type Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone are completely different from systems designed to counter a micro-drone.The theatres of operation of these drones are different and the threats they represent are also different.The answer must therefore be adapted to the aircraft. SOARING DEMAND.

It is clear, therefore, that the quest for viable anti-drone systems will continue to be a topical issue in the coming years, as managers of sensitive installations seek to boost their defences against an-

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ticipated drone-based intrusions and attacks. New technologies will undoubtedly emerge to counter the drone threat in view of the drawbacks inherent in currently available systems.Today’s air defence systems are unable to cope with remotely piloted aircraft, which are much smaller than conventional manned aircraft. Similarly, military systems are far too expensive to protect one-off events or private sites. It can thus be seen that the market will probably be divided in two, with solutions that purely meet the needs of the military, on the one hand, and civil or dual technologies adapted to the needs of non-military operators, on the other. Expected growth in the antidrone segment is already driving development of a broad variety


of solutions. For now, the market is dominated by large manufacturers who have developed expertise in the defence market. Thales, Raytheon, IAI, Boeing, Hensoldt, etc., have all focused on this issue, as the need for armed forces to protect themselves against drone attacks came to prominence. As the GlobalData report notes: "UAVs used by one nation always represent a threat to the interests of another country and in order to have an effective defence system, many armed forces around the world have focused on the development of counter-UAV technologies." Alongside the major suppliers, other, smaller players are also emerging (e.g. ApolloShield, MyDefence, Roboost...). One of the challenges in the anti-drone sector is to develop

a solution that can distinguish between several drones operating in the same area. Global Data highlights in particular the need to be able to differentiate between a friendly, collaborative UAV and an intruder UAV.This is important as drones will increasingly be used, especially at public events to carry out surveillance missions as well as audio-visual functions. "Most of these drones deployed in congested airspace should not represent a threat but at the same time they could serve as a cover for a malicious drone seeking to access the event," GlobalData observes. The development of systems for lowlevel air traffic management should also help to reinforce security for this type of event. ■ Justine Boquet


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Following a programme launch at the end oF 2014, europe’s new heavy launcher — due to liFt oFF For the First time in the second halF oF 2020 — has reached an important production milestone.

he decision could have been taken as early as June 2018, but Arianespace, which is responsible for marketing Ariane 6, and ArianeGroup, the industrial architect, were waiting for more orders from European institutions before starting production of a first batch, intended to fly between 2021 and 2023.This expectation was all the more legitimate since ArianeGroup — in exchange for its commitment when the programme was launched at the European Space Agency (ESA) ministerial council in Luxembourg in December 2014 — had been promised that firm orders would follow from ESA Member States. Three and a half years later, Alain Charmeau, the CEO of ArianeGroup at the time, found it "encouraging" that the launcher had been selected by the European Commission and ESA for (at least) two Galileo missions, and that the French defence procurement agency DGA and the French space agency CNES were about to do the same for the launch of the CSO3 satellite. But this was still a long way short of the target, since seven institutional missions





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SPECIAL ISSUE that could be entrusted to Ariane 6 had been identified by 2023. The company said it was urgent and vital to "place realistic orders", and that it was not up to ArianeGroup to finance initial production of launchers for government customers.The company even threatened to furlough some of its teams if the situation did not change, at a time when the various production plants in France and Germany were about to become operational. The company drew attention to the fact that the programme also involved some 600 subcontractors (including 350 SMEs), whose financial situation was even more fragile.... ESA COMMITMENT.

Apart from the confirmation of the CSO3 mission, the following eight months saw no new government orders arrive, while two commercial contracts were finally awarded: with Eutelsat, on the one hand, for a "long-term multiple-launch agreement" that could

involve two Ariane 64s between 2021 and 2027; and with OneWeb, on the other, for the deployment of 30 satellites on the inaugural flight. Altogether, a total of six Ariane 6 launchers under four contracts (including two institutional contracts) for the period 2020-2027. The solution finally emerged on 17th April, during an extraordinary Council of ESA Member States held in Paris: a resolution, adopted unanimously, promised a framework for possible support for Ariane 6 during the transition phase with Ariane 5. In concrete terms, the Agency undertook to place four additional potential orders by the next Conference of European Space Ministers, Space19+, to be held on 27th28th November in Seville (Spain), or to compensate manufacturers to the tune several hundred million euros in 2019, if these orders do not materialise. A promise was also made to finance the first flight of the most powerful version of

Ariane 6 (A64, with four strapon boosters), if this version fails to find a commercial customer before 2022, when ESA may need a qualified Ariane 6 launcher. Furthermore, ESA has established precise allocation rules to distribute missions between Ariane 6 and the Vega C light launcher — another resolution unanimously adopted: payloads of less than 200kg are distributed according to the earliest flight opportunity (in order to be able to launch as quickly as possible); those from 200kg to 2.35t are allocated to theVega C baseline launcher, and those of more than 2.35t to Ariane 6 baseline. This decision applies not only to ESA, but constitutes a strong recommendation for other European institutions, which will take their own final decisions. Finally, by the time of the Seville conference, Jan Woerner, ESA's Director General, is to draw up a list of the Agency's future scientific missions. "This would be a stabilizing factor," says Daniel Neuen-

schwander, Director of Space Transportation at ESA. Among the launches that could be switched to the Ariane 6 launch manifest are two missions under the ESA CosmicVision programme (20152025), currently scheduled for 2022: Euclid (mapping the geometry of the dark universe) and Juice (exploring the Galilean satellites of Jupiter).The former was initially planned to lift off on a Soyuz/Fregat launcher, and the latter, on an Ariane 5 ECA. PRODUCTION GO-AHEAD.

Reassured by these guarantees, ArianeGroup therefore decided to launch production of the first batch of Ariane 6 launchers (in addition to the two models already under assembly, intended for ground and flight qualification in 2020).The decision was announced on 6th May. This batch will consist of fourteen launchers (n°602 to 615), intended to fly in 2021 and 2023, in parallel with the last eight Ariane 5 ECAs.That

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2019 Ariane 6 launch contracts, as of 1st June 2019 Customer


Launcher Launch date

Contract signed


European Commission and ESA

4 Galileo satellites (navigation)

Two Ariane 62s 2020-2021

september 2017

First institutional contract


up to 5 satellites (telecommunications)

Two Ariane 64s 2021-2027

september 2018

First commercial contract (multiple launches)

Cnes and DGA

Cso3 (optical reconnaissance)

Ariane 62 2021

september 2018


30 satellites oneWeb (telecommunicatons)

Ariane 62 2020

■ Pierre-François Mouriaux


Launch on inaugural flight

Interview: Stéphane Israël CEO of Arianespace «The December ministerial council will be crucial for us.» What are the strengths of Ariane 6 today? if we survey the current and future landscape, it is clear that ariane 6's flexibility makes it even better suited to the market conditions we had imagined in 2014, when development was launched. the twin-booster version is well-suited for european institutional launches, as well as for two developments that were not necessarily foreseen at the time: the desire of operators to reduce the time needed to transfer satellites equipped with electric propulsion systems to their orbital position and the development of constellations, which require the ability to reach different orbital planes — this is the advantage of the vinci reignitable engine. the orders already booked illustrate this capacity to meet demand: three ariane 62s (which will gradually take over from soyuz) will be dedicated to institutional missions and, on the commercial side, we will launch 30 satellites of the oneweb constellation on the ariane 6 inaugural flight, and we have signed a multiple launch agreement with eutelsat for the deployment of several geostationary satellites. What do you expect from the European Commission? the commission gave an extremely strong signal in september 2017 by considering ariane 6 for the first two missions of the transition phase (with soyuz as a backup solution). now, we hope that it will take this commitment further, with new orders. over the period 2021-2023, one can imagine that there will be at least four more

galileo missions. this coincides with the beginning of the next budget period and, in the meantime, the new commission will have to be established. we understand the time constraints, but it is true that for european industry, it is important that orders arrive quickly.

p.-F. MouriAux / Air & CosMos

amounts to 7.3 launchers available per year, whereas the initial objective was to maintain a stable rate of eleven missions per year (including five institutional missions). However, the production system is ready to ramp up if the need arises. In the meantime, there has been a collective sigh of relief across thirteen European countries, to the great satisfaction of ArianeGroup's new CEO, André-Hubert Roussel, who replaced Alain Charmeau on 1st January 1. “Starting work on the first Ariane 6 seriesproduction batch, less than four years after signing the development contract with ESA in August 2015, is a real success for the European space industry as a whole,” he declared.“We have made the necessary efforts to set up a new, more efficient and competitive European industrial organization in record time.We can now ensure the ramp-up of Ariane 6 production and prepare for its launch operations. Our customers are eagerly awaiting Ariane 6, and it will be delivered on time.” The first flight of an Ariane 6 (version A62) is still planned for next year, "from July onwards". The first production Ariane 6s should leave ArianeGroup's plants at the beginning of 2021.

February 2019

What do you expect from the Space19+ conference in Seville? the december ministerial council promises to be crucial for us. we are actively preparing it, with arianegroup and our european partners, and it will have to be very ambitious. the aim is to set up the conditions for the end of ariane 5 operations, to confirm the conditions for the operation of the first 14 ariane 6s, and to look beyond that: how to improve ariane 6 and how to prepare the next generation, from the 2030s onwards. we want to eventually use oxygenmethane propulsion (this is the purpose of the prometheus engine), we want to improve our knowledge of lighter materials, especially for the upper stage (this is the icarus project), and we want to have the ability to recover a stage (through the themis demonstrator), if a reusable launcher were to make sense from an economic point of view, with the market and mission prospects that we have. Interview by Pierre-François Mouriaux


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APCO Technologie_Final.qxp_Couverture 03/06/2019 12:52 Page2

We take up technical challenges

APCO Technologies, competitive equipment supplier active in the institutional and commercial Space markets, European Reference for Stable Structures made of Composite. Ideal Partner for Instrument, Satellite and Launcher Integrators, proposing innovating and performing solutions at the cutting edge of technology.

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STAGE FOR ARIANE 6 Artist’s view of Icarus stage.

to the extent of probably gaining 2t of payload capability into geostationary transfer orbit. Icarus will be black, which is unprecedented for an Ariane launcher, and this has already earned it the nickname of the "black stage".





s part of the Ariane 6 Evolution programme, which, as its name suggests, is focused on enhancements to the future European heavy launcher, the European Space Agency (ESA) recently awarded contracts to ArianeGroup and MT Aerospace (a supplier of space components and subsystems) for the study


of technologies and concepts required to develop an optimised upper stage for the future European heavy launcher. Called Icarus (Innovative Carbon Ariane Upper Stage), this stage will be made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), while the upper stages of launchers are generally of aluminium construction.The objective is to further reduce costs and, above all, to save weight,

ArianeGroup and MT Aerospace will combine the respective skills of their teams in Bremen and Augsburg, the former focusing on stage architectures and system integration, and the latter on materials and technologies for tanks and composite structures under cryogenic conditions.The selected technologies will be integrated into an upper-stage demonstrator starting in 2021, to demonstrate that the system is compatible on a large scale with the liquid oxygen-hydrogen mixture, and to validate the filling and draining processes, as well as the integrity of the primary and secondary structures. This technological maturity phase, called Phoebus (Prototype of a Highly OptimisEd Black Upper Stage), should be followed by a decision to finance the development of the Icarus stage at the next ESA ministerial council in November.


■ Pierre-François Mouiaux

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17th to 23rd JUNE 2019


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