Urban and Regional Air Freight


In the project URAF Urban and Regional Air Freight, the reduction of the emissions produced by freight transport on the road is the focus of the research. With the assistance of envisaged small electric vehicles, the project aims at the design and modelling of a locally emission-free and low-noise logistics chain, which deems the NRW as the proper model basis and target to test its feasibility.



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Increasing urbanization and transport services in developed industrial nations push existing transport networks and thus, the strain on the population to their limits. The most pressing aspects are the traffic volume as well as toxic and noise pollution. Furthermore, the demand of short-term delivery of goods to individuals and companies is growing. Recent developments in the sector of electric small aircrafts as well as vertical starting aircrafts offer new solutions to these problems.

Hence, the project URAF aims at the conceptualization and modelling of a green logistics chain that is based on local emission-free, electrically driven and low-noise aircrafts. The targeted exemplary testing of the aircrafts and of the required infrastructure within the project will start at an international airport in NRW, reach urban city hubs with the help of landing sites close to the city, and end at the door of the end costumer.

With the help of this exemplary supply chain, the potential of a local emission-free, electric airfreight of the future should be quantified to become utilizable for the industry. The relocation of the flow of goods should support the relief of the road network and shorten delivery times. Our goal is the development of realistic and sustainable, modular implementation strategies to equip NRW for future expanding green air logistics in the best way possible.

Research at the ILR focuses on aircraft concept design in combination with the sustainability of new configurations, the integration of new technologies and their evaluation by life cycle studies and by integration into air traffic. In this context, the ILR researches the aerodynamics of the aerial vehicles, the related acoustics and the development of system components in order to increase the efficiency of future transport vehicles.