On International Women’s Day, Deutsche Aircraft hosted an inspiring conference event at Oberpfaffenhofen Airport, inviting high-profile female speakers to discuss the value of evolutions and revolutions in aviation.
The three engaging panels covered the topics of “Testing in Digital Times”, “New work = Employee commitment?” and “New energy carriers as enablers for climate neutrality?”.
Dr Tina Jurkat-Witschas, Project Manager of H2CONTRAIL at DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, focused the attention of the audience on contrail climate effects: “Uncertainties of Non-CO2 effects, mainly contrails, for present and future technologies and fuels need to be reduced in order to do a substantiated climate impact assessment of future air traffic.
“More research on contrail avoidance and contrail formation from hydrogen engines and sustainable aviation fuels is needed!”
Dr Sara Rocci Denis, Senior Engineer Combustion Aero at GE Aerospace, highlighted the continued importance of testing despite today’s modelling capabilities: “We have to test, because we do not know what we do not know.
“It helps us to design technology for the unknown, enables the development of new models, products and technology, and demonstrates viability.”
Sofia Capito, Managing Director of LBST, discussed revolutionary organisational structures in companies and focused on the principles of new work. “A core element is the distributed power amongst employees.”
At LBST, there are only two hierarchy levels and many employees are also voting shareholders. This contributes significantly to the extraordinary high intrinsic motivation and employee commitment of the entire team.
Andrea Luebke, Senior Vice President Strategy of MTU Aero Engines, identified autonomy, empowerment and self-responsibility as the key factors in this area.
“We should provide a culture and environment which allows employees to choose their time and place of work and ensures everybody understands the targets and framework to perform successfully,” she says.
Dr Kathrin Ebner, Lead Energy & Fuels, Coordinator (Hybrid-)Electric & Hydrogen Aviation, Bauhaus Luftfahrt e. V. talked about the long-term perspective to decarbonize air flights by hydrogen. Green hydrogen holds great emission reduction potential.
“However, its application as an aviation fuel comes with a number of challenges and holistic assessments are key to acquiring an in-depth understanding of this prospective fuel option.”
Dr Regina Pouzolz, Head of Sustainable Development at Deutsche Aircraft, addressed the importance of acting now. “The revolution needs to start on the ground: SAF production must scale up.
“We appreciate the potential of novel propulsion technologies in the future, but climate change requires both fast and substantial action.
“We cannot wait until novel energy carriers reach sufficient technology readiness.
“This is why we push for solutions that can be realised in the very short term, and that’s SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuels). At best, it is Power-to-Liquid. Power-to-Liquid fuels offer roughly the same advantage to climate as hydrogen, but their realisation is infinitely easier.”
Silvia Bianchi, the moderator of the event and Director of Aircraft Architecture, was very pleased with the large turnout. “At Deutsche Aircraft, we have many female experts in the field of aviation who are instrumental in shaping and securing the company’s future.
“I consider myself privileged to work with such incredible and talented professionals.”