Aerospace: economic and environmental impacts of the use of new materials

While time and experience have helped composites become established in the aerospace industry, these materials continue to be closely monitored, with extra efforts on the part of aircraft manufacturers. Today, it is generally acknowledged that every passenger who makes the round trip from Paris to New York by plane in normal travelling conditions “produces” one metric ton of CO2. One can easily calculate the per-passenger fuel consumption at about 400 litres of kerosene. That may seem like a lot, but given the distance between Paris and New York (about 5,850 km, or 11,700 km round trip), 400 litres of fuel to go 12,000 km comes out to an average per-passenger consumption of about 3.5 litres per 100 km. Certainly better than any car! Environment and economy We are faced with a twofold problem, both environmental and economic. These two notions cannot be addressed separately. With more than two billion passengers per year, the CO2 production for travel by aircraft adds up to impressive quantities of CO2 emissions – more than 600 million metric tons per year! And yet, all these tons account for only 5% of annual global human-induced production. On the economic side, the aerospace industry generates more than 30 million jobs worldwide and the equivalent of 7.5% of global GDP. So once again for this issue, the environmental and economic aspects are crucial.

You can read this article in : Aerospace – economic and environmental impacts

Or in the JEC Composites Magazine N° 72