SPOTLIGHT on Climate
The future is climate neutral
Our Clean Air Engine Agenda
Emissions-free flight is the vision that drives MTU. Every day, more than 11,000 employees worldwide work on innovative technologies, products, and service solutions that will ensure an emissions-free future for aircraft.
“We’ve aligned our entire technology agenda toward the new global objectives.”Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology, MTU Aero Engines AG
On track for emissions-free flight
MTU’s technology agenda is called Clean Air Engine (Claire). In it, we lay out potential solutions and concepts for sustainable commercial engines to pave the way for emissions-free flight. All efforts are aimed at reducing climate impact—that is, CO2 and NOx emissions and contrail formation.
Key elements are evolutionary enhancements of the gas turbine engine based on the geared turbofan, and completely new, revolutionary propulsion concepts, such as the Water-Enhanced Turbofan (WET) and the Flying Fuel Cell. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and hydrogen play an important role.
There are three stages on the journey to emissions-free flight: The first stage is marked by the geared turbofan, which has been a standard component since 2016. In conjunction with SAF, it can already significantly reduce climate impact today. In the second stage, MTU aims to realize the Water-Enhanced Turbofan and the Flying Fuel Cell by 2035. A hydrogen-powered GTF is also possible. Stage three will begin in 2050 and is aimed at further improving the efficiency of all propulsion technologies and introducing the fuel cell on short- and medium-haul routes.
The first Claire stage was achieved with the Pratt & Whitney GTFTM engine family. MTU contributes key technologies to these engines. They reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per flight by 20 percent each compared with their predecessors. LEARN MORE
The water-enhanced turbofan significantly reduces CO2 and NOx emissions as well as contrail formation, and can be used in all classes of aircraft. LEARN MORE
Flying Fuel Cell
Among the revolutionary propulsion concepts to emerge from MTU is an electric propulsion system: the Flying Fuel CellTM (FFC). It is set to be deployed first on short-haul routes in regional air traffic. LEARN MORE
Clean Air Engine: Three steps toward emissions-free flight
A swift and significant reduction in climate impact can be achieved with sustainable aviation fuels, as they can be used immediately as drop-in fuels, i.e. without the need to adapt the aircraft or engine.
Known as SAF, these result in a largely closed CO2 cycle. In the best-case scenario, the CO2 released in flight is fully recaptured from the atmosphere for use in fuel production. SAF can also significantly reduce the formation of contrails.
In the long term, hydrogen will serve as the basis for climate-neutral propulsion of the future. We see three application possibilities: it can be burned directly in a gas turbine engine, converted into an SAF, or converted into electrical energy by means of a fuel cell.
Climate impact of aircraft