Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has announced its latest investment in the future of sustainable aviation and outlined its approach to how it can play its part in helping reduce, and eventually eliminate, the environmental impact of aviation.
Chris Leach, Chairman of Air Charter Service, said: “Internally we have been a certified Carbon Neutral company since 2007, but we realised several years ago that this was not enough, so we are working to a three phase strategy to reduce and ultimately eliminate our industry’s environmental impact. The first phase is carbon-offsetting – we launched our customer offsetting scheme several years ago, with the offer for every client to offset the carbon generated by their flights. The money of which goes towards carbon credits supporting industries that have the technology to be sustainable, but not the funding. The second phase is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) – this is currently not always feasible as the infrastructure currently where it needs to be and there are still concerns about the auditing of Book and Claim systems. However, we are hopeful that we will have this offering in place in the foreseeable future. The third is investing in the future of sustainable flight. Although the impact of this strategy will not be fully realised until much further down the line, we have already begun to invest. We first invested in Erik Lindbergh and Embry-Riddle’s ‘Powering Imagination’ electric aircraft project almost ten years ago. Our latest investment is now to help find the next generation of aeronautical engineers, who will be working on the aircraft in the future.
“Aviation has come a long way in terms of fuel efficiency over the past 40 years or so. It is, however, an industry that faces many challenges to get to fully electric or hydrogen powered aircraft. We can mitigate the problems with carbon offsetting and SAF, but we need to truly invest in the aeronautical engineers of the future, who will be at the forefront of the development in 20-30 years’ time – those engineers are currently of university age.
“So it gives me great pleasure to announce that we have awarded our inaugural PhD scholarship to Muram Abbadi, who will be conducting a study of morphing wings. Muram will be focusing on an innovative form of aircraft wing design that changes shape, taking inspiration from nature by mimicking feathered movement. By evaluating and modelling the aerodynamic performance of the front and back parts of these morphing wings at different stages of flight, she hopes her findings will contribute to the future sustainability of the industry. We felt that Muram’s studies covered both the short- and longer-term objectives of more efficient flight and we are really excited to see her findings. The scholarship will see her receive full funding covering tuition, research fees and maintenance costs during her four years of PhD studies.”
Muram commented: “Sustainability in aviation is the long-term goal for aircraft manufacturers – it makes for a fascinating time to be involved in aviation, with innovative designs to tackle the climate challenge. Having the opportunity to work on solving these issues and trying things that haven’t been done before is really exciting. When I learned about morphing wings and how they take inspiration from the way birds fly, the idea of trying to establish their optimal aerodynamic performance seemed the perfect fit for my PhD and I’m very thankful to Air Charter Service for this opportunity.”
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment, Professor Amir Alani, said the firm’s support in establishing the scholarship was an outstanding example of how universities and businesses could work together to advance knowledge and research. “By supporting Muram in her studies in this way, ACS is assisting the development of a talented aerospace engineer in an area that could play a significant role in the evolution of a more sustainable industry.”
A video interview is available here.