Saabs laminar flow wing BLADE (outer wing right hand side of picture)

Saab is one of the 16 leaders and a member of the governing board in the European research programme Clean Sky 2. Saab is responsible for defining and directing European research efforts with focus on reducing the environmental impact of the aircraft industry whilst strengthening European collaboration and competitiveness.

Saab together with European partners (large industrial & SME partners, research institutes & Universities) intends to design and manufacture a number of metallic (cargo door) and composite (wing moveable) demonstrators reducing both aircraft weight and the environmental impact of aircraft manufacture. Chemicals typically used during the manufacture process or for surface treatment and painting are a key focus for removal/replacement, as is the replacement of hydraulic fluid with electromechanical solutions for moveable assemblies. Automated assembly lines and in particular the collaboration between humans and robots is also seen as an enabler for improved manufacture efficiency and reduced environmental footprint.

Aircraft drag reduction through laminar flow on aircraft wings is one of the success stories from Clean Sky 1. The reduction of drag reduces the fuel consumption of the aircraft, i.e. less emission of CO2. This development will continue in Clean Sky 2 with additional flight evaluation of Saabs laminar flow wing (BLADE) whilst integrating additional functionality into aircraft structures shall be investigated (morphing, erosion protection, de-icing, lightening protection).

Regarding aircraft systems Saab is developing technology which assists pilots so that aircraft can take off and land in adverse weather. This should improve both safety and the environmental impact of delayed and diverted flights.