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Assessing the Climate Impact of Formation Flights

Dahlmann, Katrin and Matthes, Sigrun and Yamashita, Hiroshi and Unterstrasser, Simon and Grewe, Volker and Marks, Tobias (2020) Assessing the Climate Impact of Formation Flights. Aerospace, 7 (12), p. 172. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/aerospace7120172. ISSN 2226-4310.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7120172

Abstract

An operational measure that is inspired by migrant birds aiming toward the mitigation of aviation climate impact is to fly in aerodynamic formation. When this operational measure is adapted to commercial aircraft it saves fuel and is, therefore, expected to reduce the climate impact of aviation. Besides the total emission amount, this mitigation option also changes the location of emissions, impacting the non-CO2 climate effects arising from NOx and H2O emissions and contrails. Here, we assess these non-CO2 climate impacts with a climate response model to assure a benefit for climate not only due to CO2 emission reductions, but also due to reduced non-CO2 effects. Therefore, the climate response model AirClim is used, which includes CO2 effects and also the impact of water vapor and contrail induced cloudiness as well as the impact of nitrogen dioxide emissions on the ozone and methane concentration. For this purpose, AirClim has been adopted to account for saturation effects occurring for formation flight. The results of the case studies show that the implementation of formation flights in the 50 most popular airports for the year 2017 display an average decrease of fuel consumption by 5%. The climate impact, in terms of average near surface temperature change, is estimated to be reduced in average by 24%, with values of individual formations between 13% and 33%.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/139722/
Document Type:Article
Title:Assessing the Climate Impact of Formation Flights
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Dahlmann, KatrinDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3198-1713
Matthes, SigrunDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5114-2418
Yamashita, HiroshiDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2458-1826
Unterstrasser, SimonDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3772-3678
Grewe, VolkerDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8012-6783
Marks, Tobiastobias.marks (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:8 December 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:7
DOI :10.3390/aerospace7120172
Page Range:p. 172
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
ISSN:2226-4310
Status:Published
Keywords:climate impact; aviation; formation flight; mitigation potential; aircraft wake-surfing for efficiency
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Climate, Weather and Environment (old)
Location: Hamburg , Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Transport Meteorology
Air Transportation System and Technology Assessment
Deposited By: Dahlmann, Katrin
Deposited On:16 Dec 2020 14:13
Last Modified:16 Dec 2020 14:13

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