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Aviation France Europe

France Green Aircraft

The French Government recently announced a financial package to bolster its aerospace industry. Seven billion euros will go to support its major airline, the Air France KLM Group.  A further 8 billion euros will be dedicated to assisting the aircraft manufacturers and supply chain.  Within this amount, monies for R&D to help develop zero carbon aircraft and related technologies have been earmarked which may provide opportunities for US firms in OEM supply chains.

“Green” Aircraft: The French government has chosen to increase its support for disruptive environmental technologies for aerospace.  1.5 billion euros will be made available between now and end 2022 to accelerate development of a new regional aircraft powered by hybrid propulsion, in service by the end of the decade. The funds will be allocated to French primes and their supply chains through government aero research entity CORAC.

A Successor to the Airbus A320: The development cycle is tight, but Airbus aims to field an initial A320 successor demonstrator between 2026 and 2028, with a service entry date between 2030 and 2035. The emphasis will be twofold; saving up to 30% in fuel, with a possibility of burning 100% biofuels, and then moving to hydrogen as the primary fuel.  

New engine development will be needed; five projects already underway with engine manufacturers focus on the fan module of the future engine.  More compact and lighter engines, using innovative architecture and advanced materials, are the goal.

The R&D effort will not be limited to commercial aircraft. It will also include an ultra energy-efficient successor to the AH Ecureuil (Squirrel) helicopter, aiming for a 40% reduction in fuel consumption and capable of electrical hybridization, and ultimately running on hydrogen. Announced timeline: a demonstrator in 2029. Finally, Dassault business jets will also be included in this push to use biofuels and eventually (at least partially), hydrogen.

For more information, please contact Cara Boulesteix at