Research on aeronautics for world-class air transport receives EU funding

An EU-wide call for research proposals in aeronautics and air transport has resulted in the choice of 42 innovative projects to be funded by the European Commission.

The main call was the third one for aeronautics and air transport issued under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). Scientists were invited to submit proposals for research and technology development activities that will later find application in making air transport greener, safer, and more efficient. Out of two hundred proposals received, the 42 best ones from all corners of Europe were selected to be given a combined funding of €108 million.

Within the main call were the first joint calls in aeronautics to support cooperation with researchers of air transport and aviation in Russia and China. The European Commission will contribute a total of €7 million to European researchers working on projects together with Chinese or Russian colleagues. The Chinese and Russian governments will in turn support their own scientists with an equal amount of funding.

This type of international cooperation will attract new researchers and deepen complex technological and theoretical knowledge. It also enables scientists to share facilities. As an example, Russian scientists will give their European colleagues access to their premises and laboratories.

The selected projects will explore pioneering ideas for future aviation and carry out further research into topics such as lighter aircraft structures and equipment, greener engines, flight physics, reducing aircraft noise and increasing safety.

The first projects that will be funded under this third call are planned to start in September 2010.

Some of the projects selected are:

# Reducing cost of titanium components - COLTS (Casting of Large Titanium Structures) - This project brings seven European and seven Chinese partners together to look into ways to cut back costs, for example by reducing the amount of raw material that is wasted during production. Proposed EU contribution: €1.5 million

# Building quieter aircraft – ORINOCO (Advanced Engine Noise control based on plasma actuators) -
This project is a collaboration between seven EU and six Russian partners from academia and the research community. They will carry out theoretical, numerical and experimental research for the implementation of a technique of 'plasma actuators' that will reduce jet noise. Proposed EU contribution: €1.5 million

# Better survival of passengers in aircraft fires – AircraftFire - It is important to keep the number of passengers injured in fire accidents in-flight or after a crash as low as possible. To this end, this research involves aviation authorities, universities, research establishments, and end-user groups. They will work together to increase chances of survival for passengers trapped in a fire. Proposed EU contribution: €3.2 million

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