"The perfect flight" is a combination of current best practices for "greener" aircraft operations - requiring the most modern aircraft in service flying a direct route, with optimised navigation procedures and powered by alternative fuels.
These best practices extend to weight-saving measures deployed throughout the cabin, with the use of lighter materials for seats, carpets and more; and they also include such optimised ground operations as single-engine taxi and washing techniques.
An initial "perfect flight" from Toulouse to Paris in France was performed last year by Airbus, and it is to be followed by additional demonstrations planned for later in 2012. This activity could provide fuel burn and emissions reductions of some 50 per cent per passenger.
According to Andrea Debbané, head of environmental affairs for Airbus, there are three issues keeping "the perfect flight´s" combination of advanced technologies and processes from becoming industry standard: government policy, which must create the right framework and incentives; the need for infrastructure, particularly with regard to the development of alternative fuels; and investment to allocate proper resources.
Airbus is hoping to shift attention to these important issues through its "perfect flight" demonstrations this year, helping clear the way for cleaner and greener air transport operations.