How Aircraft Manufacturers Are Reducing Environmental Impact

By Jim Lee

 

At the annual ASA / AFRA conference in June, we heard Kahina Oudjehani, Head of Eco-Design and Environmental Affairs at Bombardier.  She shared Bombardier’s environmental strategy through the entire lifecycle of an aircraft to improve the company’s environmental footprint.  A significant environmental impact occurs with aircraft design and we learned of some examples on the CRJ100 regional jet design as seen with these attached slides.

Reducing aircraft weight by redesigning components is another significant impact to improving the environmental footprint by using less raw material in parts, less energy and water in making parts, reduced weight to improve fuel efficiency, and selecting materials that can be recycled and reused, or repurposed. Congratulations to Bombardier on their efforts and recent recognition by Canada for its sustainability and eco-design approach applied to the C series jet.

As a technology geek, I’ve learned of aircraft design initiatives which utilize artificial intelligence and supercomputers with 3-D printing (or additive manufacturing).  Airbus analyzed the stresses and loads on a product, then utilized 3-D printing and some wild new algorithms based on slime mold and bone growth. Slime mold naturally creates a strong, efficient structure between two fixed points, and other algorithms are used to create bones and implants for reconstructive surgeries.  Combine these algorithms to calculate and determine the most efficient designs, which result in structures a human couldn’t conceive.  Then creating those designs with 3-D printing result in what Airbus calls bionic 3-D printing.

https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/news/en/2016/03/Pioneering-bionic-3D-printing.html

As Bombardier and Airbus have demonstrated, implementing environmental sustainability or ISO 14001 correctly, can yield positive financial impact while improving the environmental footprint. SimpleQuE can guide you on the path to ISO 14001 certification.  Contact us for more information.

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