(CNN) — Take a closer look at the plane at the top of this story. Notice anything different about any of its engines?
This Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, has been recruited as a demonstrator to test the new advanced open fan motor architecture that could help reduce carbon emissions by up to 20%.
The project was unveiled Tuesday by Airbus and CFM International at the Farnborough Air Show just outside London, an annual trade show showcasing the latest innovations in aerospace.
It is the latest innovation to be air-tested on the A380 “superjumbo”, which has had mixed fortunes in recent years. Production of the beloved aircraft was halted in 2021 due to lack of demand. Existing planes were grounded by airlines during the pandemic, but enjoyed a recent resurgence due to demand for travel.
CFM, whose parent companies are GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, has developed advanced propulsion technologies as part of its Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engine (RISE) demonstration program.
The goal now is to mature and accelerate that with a flight test campaign aboard this A380, which will take to the skies in the second half of this decade from the Airbus Flight Test facility in Toulouse, France.
Before that happens, CFM will conduct ground engine testing and flight test validation at GE Aviation’s Flight Test Operations center in Victorville, California.
“New propulsion technologies will play an important role in achieving aviation’s net-zero targets, along with new aircraft designs and renewable energy sources,” said Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, in a statement.
The CFM RISE program is all about pushing the technology envelope, redefining the art of the possible and helping deliver more sustainable long-term growth for our industry,” affirms Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International.