INFO & TOOLS

Translate

Cost assessment of near- and mid-term technologies to improve new aircraft fuel efficiency

Published Tue, 2016.09.27 | By

Anastasia Kharina, Daniel Rutherford, Mazyar Zeinali

Summary

Finds that fuel consumption of new aircraft designs could be cut by 25% in 2024 and 40% in 2034 using cost-effective emerging technologies—double the rate of improvement seen in designs coming from manufacturers now in response to market forces alone.


Download (pdf, 86.34KB)

This report summarizes the results of the first independent, bottom-up cost assessment of near and mid-term technologies to improve new aircraft fuel efficiency. Carried out in cooperation with a blue ribbon panel of technical experts and consultants using NASA and DoD-approved models to evaluate aviation technology programs, it assesses over 45 discrete technologies.

The analysis identifies significant potential to reduce emissions in-sector through emerging fuel efficiency technologies. The rate of fuel efficiency improvement for new aircraft can be more than doubled through 2034, from about 1% today to 2.2% annually, by the adoption of cost effective technologies to improve engine efficiency, reduce aerodynamic drag, and trim aircraft empty weight.

Key findings:

  • The fuel consumption of new aircraft can be reduced by approximately 25% in 2024 and 40% in 2034 compared with today’s aircraft by deploying emerging cost-effective technologies. These improvements dwarf the fuel efficiency of new “project” aircraft designs (mostly re-engined aircraft) being brought to market by manufacturers today.
  • Airlines could reduce their fuel spending over the 2025 to 2050 time frame by 19% compared with the baseline case by adopting cost-effective technologies. If passed along to the consumer, these savings could lower ticket prices by up to $20 for short-haul flights and $105 for long-haul flights.
  • Additional efficiency gains are possible but will require government support through policies like efficiency standards, carbon pricing, and research support for technology development.

Press release