Air transport is an important sector in the EU economy. Studies show that freight transport and passenger volume will increase during the next years.
In order to protect the environment in spite of this growth in the aviation industry, it is essential to analyse new and ecologically profitable trends. It should be kept in mind that aircraft have a 30-year service life, and that it takes more than a decade to develop a new aircraft type. The impact of an aircraft on the environment is often reduced to the impacts during its use phase. A holistic approach to evaluate these environmental impacts however must take the total life cycle of an aircraft into consideration.
The life cycle of an aircraft can be split up into three distinctive phases: aircraft design & production, aircraft use and aircraft withdrawal/ end-of-life. Those phases have to be assessed holistically, e.g. to avoid a shift of burdens from one phase of the life cycle to another.
To evaluate the sustainability and the relevant parameters of an aircraft, all the life cycle phases have to be analysed. The results of the Life Cycle Assessment could offer recommendations, conclusions and strategies for an oncoming work on the way to an eco-friendly aircraft and an environmentally compatible aviation industry.
The LBP addresses the following main topics:
- Process analysis and optimisation
- Future technologies
- Life cycle engineering of aircraft and aircraft systems
- Design for Environment (DfE)
Since 1989, the Department Life Cycle Engineering, LBP University of Stuttgart, in co-operation with industry, has developed practical methods for Life Cycle Engineering and Life Cycle Assessment. The adaptation of the methods to the user’s needs and facilitating the integration of these methods into the decision-making processes of the product development is the main objective.
In the context of these activities, the LBP and its co-operation partner thinkstep AG co-operate closely with large aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers. In doing so, an extensive spectrum of knowledge and a valuable experience of balancing within the aviation industry have been gathered.