At SMM in Hamburg last week, the pan-European airplane giant placed a firm order for AirSeas’ first-ever automated kite, to reduce fuel consumption on its airplane parts ro-ro services
SeaWing is an automated, 1,000 m2 kite based on parafoil technology, used to tow commercial ships. Airbus is focusing on improving productivity and delivering aircraft faster and more cost-effectively for its customers. It owns a fleet of four ro-ro ships to transport aircraft parts around Europe and the USA.
SeaWing offers a new way of cutting shipping fuel costs by an estimated 20% and will reduce Airbus’ overall industrial environmental footprint by 8,000 tons of CO2 per year.
"SeaWing combines aeronautical know-how with maritime technology to create a breakthrough in the maritime transportation sector," said a joint statement by Airbus and Toulouse, France-based AirSeas.
A simple switch launches or recovers the kite which unfolds, operates and refolds autonomously. The system collects and analyses meteorological and oceanic data in real-time. SeaWing adapts to this information in order to optimise its performance as well as ensure maximum safety.
Vincent Bernatets, CEO of AirSeas, said: “We are very proud that Airbus has confirmed its confidence in the SeaWing system after seeing our test results first-hand on their own ship. This first ro-ro vessel installation opens the way for further pioneering deals on container ships, bulkers and ferries. We are glad we can start helping our customers to reduce ship emissions in order to preserve the environment.”
Bernatets co-signed the order with Benoit Lemonier, Head of Transport & Logistics at Airbus.