Sustainable Aviation: The Route to Climate-Neutral Aviation

To reduce the environmental footprint of the aviation sector we need to start a clean sky revolution. Discover the latest developments in this field – from airplane design, energy carriers, operations, to human behaviour – and learn how you can play a role.

Sustainable Aviation: The Route to Climate-Neutral Aviation

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Estimated 6 weeks
4–5 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule

About this course

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Sustainable aviation is a key area for climate action. In this course, we will take you through the technologies and other innovations of recent years and promising future developments in the field.

We will start from the basics of how aircraft fly and how they impact the environment. You will gain present-day knowledge of technical solutions and possibilities of modern engineering to make aviation more sustainable.

Next, we will discuss solutions. you will learn about alternative propulsion methods, energy carriers (batteries, fuel cells) and novel aircraft designs (including the Flying V project at TU Delft, a new design for a highly energy-efficient and long-distance commercial aircraft.) We will also bust some common myths about the topics along the way, like why it is a very unpractical thought to simply cover up the entire aircraft with solar cells.

But the solutions presented will not cover just the technical aspects. You will discover the importance of the ecosystem surrounding aviation for its sustainability: manufacturing, operations, and the role of the individual in our airborne society. The course will stimulate critical and creative thought about the future of aviation and how you can be part of those solutions.

With its long history of research of aircraft design, operations and climate effects, the world-class experts from the The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft will guide you through this journey to sustainable aviation. The course will also include guest lectures from industry professionals from leading aviation companies such as Airbus.

“We need climate-neutral aviation. The challenges are enormous, but solutions must and will be found. Through this MOOC we want to share what we know, so that all of you can be part of this ‘clean sky revolution’.” – Henri Werij, Dean Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft

At a glance

  • Language: English

What you'll learn

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After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Reflect on how commercial air transport operations and the life cycle of aircraft impact the environment.
  • Discuss the role of aviation in society.
  • Analyze the leading concepts for improving aircraft sustainability: energy, propulsion, behavior.
  • Formulate feasible solutions for reducing the aviation industry’s footprint on both the personal and the larger scale.
  • Introduction
  • Context on greenhouse issues

    • What is climate change
    • How do aircraft contribute
    • Current situation
    • How does an aircraft fly and how does this impact the environment?

    • The miracle of flight

    • Equations of motion

    • Engines

    • Alternative Propulsion Methods

    • Electric propulsion

    • Improving existing methods

    • Energy carriers

    • Options

    • Limitations

    • Sustainable fuel

    • Novel Aircraft Designs

    • Production and End of Life

    • Production of aircraft

    • During lifetime

    • End of life

    • Climate effects

    • Emissions

    • Countermeasures

    • Operations

    • Noise and airspace congestion

    • Scheduling and operations

    • Behavior

    • The human element

    • How can I help?

    • Conclusion

About the instructors