A joint European Union - United States workshop on "Small aircraft and personal planes systems - configurations for future air transport 'How to prepare the future'" has been organized in Brussels on October 24, 2012 in the European Commission premises.
This Workshop was organised by the European Commission with the participation of NASA representatives. It addressed representatives of aviation stakeholders and experts in future projects, research institutions and academics.
The purpose of this workshop was to gather a number of key specialists, projects coordinators, who contribute their ideas and experience, in order to provide the participants with a comprehensive overview on the potential, difficulties of Small Aircraft and Personal planes Systems.
The workshop aimed at identifying the possible "showstoppers" for the development of SATS and Personal Plane Systems in order to pave the way for future research initiatives. The workshop also evaluated the potential area for EU-US R&T cooperation on Personal Planes.
The last PPlane technical meeting has been held in Budapest, Hungaria, on June 18-19, 2012.
The meeting was hosted by REA-Tech.
As the last consortium meeting of the project, it was dedicated to presentation of the results of each work package.
It was also the opportunity to prepare the final reporting and to discuss the final dissemination activities.
A NASA representative attended the meeting; a working session was dedicated to the identification of potential collaboration between the EC (via the PPlane project) and the US.
The sixth PPlane technical meeting has been held in Tel Aviv, Israel, on March 19-20, 2012.
The meeting was hosted by IAI.
The main objective of this meeting was to summarize the results of each work package in order to contribute to the WP6. More generally, it was dedicated to the WP6 content.
Side (i.e. not related to a specific WP) topics were also discussed: automation and control, take-off and landing, propulsion, projected PPlane density in Europe.
A session has also been dedicated to an open discussion with NASA Langley Research Center.
The fifth PPlane techincal meeting has been held in Forli, Italy, on October 3-4, 2011.
The meeting was hosted by University of Bologna.
This was the 2-year meeting of the project. The status of the various work packages was summarized and the future activities were defined.
A special session was dedicated to the discussion with the Advisory Board of the project. This was the opportunity for the consortium to get and external feedback, as well as recommendations, from people having an "external perspective" of the project.
The PPlane 18-months meeting has been held in Portoroz, Slovenia, on April 11-13, 2011.
The meeting was hosted by AirNet.
At mid-term of the project, this meeting was of primary importance. Especially, this is a formal reporting period, so the current results of the various WP should be summarized.
As the project is entering its second half, the dissemination activities are also becoming more important.
The technical strategy - future activities of each WP - for the rest of the project was defined.
The third PPlane technical meeting has been held in Madrid, Spain, on September 27-28, 2010.
The meeting was hosted by INTA.
The second PPlane technical meeting has been held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on May 25-26, 2010.
The meeting was hosted by NLR.
During this meeting, several technical discussions led to action items for each work package. Especially, the first deliverables of WP1 were to be delivered soon.
The first PPlane technical meeting has been held in Tel Aviv, Israel, on January 25-26, 2010.
The meeting was hosted by IAI and Intergam.
The main objectives of this meeting were to conclude some on-going discussions about some of the started work packages and to define the further short-term activities.
To this end, several parallel working sessions were organized.
The status of the first dissemination activities was also analyzed.
The kick-off meeting has been held in ONERA, France, on October 7th, 2009.
The main purposes of this meeting were to present the general objectives of the project, as well as to describe the work to be perform in the frame of each work package.
It was also the opportunity for the project' Scientific Officer, J-M Hernandez, to highlight the expectations of the EC.
Personal Air Transport Systems is a new paradigm in air transport. The personal air vehicle is analogous to the private car in terms of accessibility and ease of operation, yet delivers the benefits of speed and routing efficiencies that are only possible via direct-to-destination flight. As shown in recent studies, air transport is anticipated to evolve towards smaller aircraft exhibiting individual air transportation properties in order to avoid the increasing congestion on European roads.
The Personal Plane project (PPlane) emphasizes environmentally responsible design, including noise and gas emission reduction, green fuels, and energy efficiency, and is expected to increase the savings and sustainability resulting from more efficient travel. The duration of this European Commission (EC) 7th framework project is 30 months with a total budget is 4.4 MEuro divided among 13 partners.
According to the EC project officer, Mr. José Hernandez, PPlane fits well with the EC Aeronautics strategy of "pioneering" and "revolutionary" projects that will pave the road for future European based air transport systems.
PPlane project is partially based on the findings of previous European R&D projects, including:"Out-of-the-Box"; EPATS, SATS and EQuiPT. Additional related projects that will be considered are: SESAR; NextGen and INOUI.
PPlane main design and selection criteria include: "Security and safety", "Automation and Control", "Environment", and "Human Factors". In each of these domains, ambitious quantitative targets are set including a drastic reduction of noise and emission, substantial increase in fuel efficiency, a safety level comparable to the one achieved by conventional airliners and low cost similar to "commuter airline ticket".
The project is led by Claude Le Tallec from ONERA (France) with the assistance of Dr. Moshe Harel from Intergam Communications (Israel.) PPlane's consortium includes organizations from 11 European countries from different aviation domains in industry, research and academy including the Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel), Airnet (Slovenia), Bologna University and CIRA (Italy), Brno University (Czech Republic), Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), German Aerospace Center-DLR (Germany), Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain), National Aerospace Laboratory – NLR(Netherlands), the University of Patras (Greece), REA-TECH Engineering (Hungary).
By joining forces, the partners in PPlane will propose directions for future European RTD actions and funding towards the concepts which are found to yield the highest social and economic benefit to the community.
Additional external stakeholders, such as regulatory experts, will be invited to the project advisory board to assist the consortium in strategic decisions as well as dissemination of the findings.
The successful introduction of Personal Air Transport Systems to the European transport systems will ensure mobility of people and goods, stimulating safe and secure commuting, while fighting to reduce the unwanted effects of traffic congestion, including environmental damage, social exclusion and economic losses.