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A new paradigma of aircraft


Sustainable aviation for people living near airports!

INDIGO project aims at exploring “how” the integration of beyond state-of-the-art aircraft technologies would lead to a non-conventional aircraft concept that will “change the paradigm of operations” in the airport environment.

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INDIGO project

INtegration and Digital demonstration of low-emission aIrcraft technoloGies and airport Operations

The project INDIGO aims at predicting the improvement in airport local air quality and noise resulting from the introduction of a new, non-conventional, mid-range aircraft featuring distributed hybrid electric propeller-based propulsion and large aspect-ratio wings capable to fly quietly and in zero-to-low-emission mode (i.e., electric and/or sustainable aviation fuel) at low altitudes near airports and resort to conventional aviation fuel only when required, e.g. at higher altitudes or to recharge batteries during cruise.

To achieve this goal, INDIGO will explore a new paradigm of a silent and clean mid-range aircraft and the way in which such an aircraft will allow transforming the operations “at and near” airports. It will introduce improved methods for the analysis of future aviation environmental impact that, under the filter of uncertainty on technologies’ development, will account for non-conventional aircraft performance and future airport scenarios.

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The Horizon Europe call

HORIZON-CL5-2022-D5-01-12: Towards a silent and ultra-low local air pollution aircraft

“Deliver transformative technologies that will allow a step change in the reduction of Local Air Quality (LAQ) from NOx, SOx, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) that occur below 900 m above ground level around airports.

Deliver transformative technologies towards a silent aircraft operation around airports, including a study on airport noise map towards assessing the airports that would most benefit from noise reduction policies.

Advance further integrated and reference European models and methods for estimating aircraft emissions (LAQ and noise) inventories for operations in the airport vicinity, highly accurate estimations on the number of people affected.”

Meet the Consortium

65% of the consortium is made by partners with a specific expertise and track record in aircraft technologies such as innovative propulsive systems and aerostructures, i.e. CIRA, RUB, UC3M, RUB, TUBS, DLR and half of the UST team, the remaining 35% has instead skills and expertise that will contribute to the airport element of the project in relation to new concepts of operations, the evaluation of noise and pollution maps and the ICAO CAEP and EURO-CONTROL initiatives, i.e. CRIDA, RIX, BSC and the other half of UST.

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INDIGO’s Objectives and Ambition:


Design a new aircraft concept,

integrating the innovative Large Aspect Ratio Wing (LARW), Distributed Hybrid Electric Propellers (DHEP) and Noise Reduction Technologies (NRT).


Exploiting the performance offered by the DHEP-LARW aircraft tailoring on it ad-hoc operations.


Assess the improvements in Local Air Quality and Noise (LAQN),

considering the uncertainties inherent to the Technical Readiness Level of the novel key technologies.


Enhance current methods

of evaluating pollutants and noise mapping over airport areas.


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