Lightweight construction in aviation

The usage phase of an aircraft is the most significant phase in terms of a Life Cycle Assessment. The ecological impact is largely conditioned by the consumption of fuel, but also by its production and combustion. Widespread use of lightweight design, and of new lightweight and high-tech materials, will reduce the mass of an aircraft and thus also its fuel consumption and ecological impact over the usage phase. When and in what places lightweight components make ecological sense can only be ascertained in the course of assessment of an aircraft’s production phase and end of life. In addition, the ecologically appropriate use of lightweight components is dependent on further framework conditions, for example field of application, aircraft type, fuel consumption, and flying hours. For this reason, timely analysis of the available design options and component variants is necessary in the course of development, in order to fully exploit the potential of the various technologies.