Very ambitious long-term goals are addressed by Europe's vision for aviation Flightpath 2050, in particular for maintaining and extending industrial leadership and for protecting the environment. As many evolutionary technologies are mature near to their maximum potential, new disruptive breakthrough technologies are needed to reach these ambitious goals.
The aim is to develop exploitable breakthrough technologies and concepts for the medium term that are not currently used or that have not yet being put in combination for civil aviation. The actions should target technologies and concepts that are at low Technology Readiness Level today (up to TRL 3) and can potentially achieve Technology Readiness Level 6 by 2030-2035. The actions should focus to airframe, propulsion and on-board systems & equipment, including their integration and may challenge established practices. The proposals may also include the advancement of numerical and experimental methods towards validating the proposed concepts. The actions should address one or several of the following areas:
- Innovative aircraft configurations and airframes (e.g. short take-off and landing, long wing span; personal vehicles).
- Propulsion systems (e.g. partially or fully embedded within the airframe; distributed propulsion technologies and revolutionary engine cycles; high-speed propulsion).
- Novel and integrated multifunctional systems.
- Autonomous, intelligent and evolving systems (e.g. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems).
The proposals should include a quantitative preliminary assessment against the relevant criteria (for example, economic viability, time efficiency, safety, potential to cope with evolutions of regulations, human factor considerations such as passenger friendliness, social acceptance, etc.). They should also assess the potential of the technologies to be developed further and identify regulatory, technological and socio-economic barriers that could prevent such developments.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Actions will propose new or develop further highly innovative and exploitable breakthrough technologies for the medium term that will make feasible a substantial decrease of the environmental impact of air vehicles and/or enhance the competitiveness of the European aviation industry and the safety of civil aviation. They should demonstrate the proof of concept and consider integration issues without assuming fundamental changes at airport level. Proposals are also expected to demonstrate the validity of the technologies and concepts following a sound technical and scientific approach as well as significant decrease in the environmental impact and/or high potential for new market opportunities for the European aviation industry.