News | 02/29/2024 Liebherr-Aerospace: shaping the future of aviation

Nathalie Duquesne (right), Managing Director Engineering and Development Programs at Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS (France), has a look at the eECS in the test center. – © Liebherr

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The Electrical Environmental Control System by Liebherr uses ambient air instead of engine bleed air. – © Liebherr

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ESTER landing gear test rig at Liebherr-Aerospace’s R&D laboratory in Lindenberg (Germany). – © Liebherr

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How can aviation become decarbonized? This is the major question that will be addressed at the Clean Aviation Annual Forum in Brussels (Belgium) from March 5 to 6, 2024, where Liebherr-Aerospace will showcase cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions for a more sustainable aviation. On both days of the event, representatives of companies and institutions will present the progress and product solutions that have been and are being developed by them as part of the European Clean Aviation R&T Program.

Titouan Coué, Aerospace Engineer and Program Manager R&T at Liebherr-Aerospace in Lindenberg (Germany) not only takes part in the event but is also one of the guest speakers: "Participating in the forum is a great opportunity for us to exchange ideas and views with the attendees. We have already achieved a lot within the Clean Aviation Program and will continue to work together to shape the future of aviation.”

Ambient air for less CO2 and NOX

One example of how this can be achieved is the more energy efficient Electrical Environmental Control System (eECS) which Liebherr-Aerospace in Toulouse (France) has developed together with Airbus as part of the Clean Sky 2 initiative, a project of Clean Aviation.

One of the main energy consumers on board an aircraft is the environmental control system. For a conventional system currently used, it takes or bleeds off air from engines which reduces their thrust output by about 5-8 %.

The eECS will reduce fuel consumption and emit less CO2 and NOx, because instead of bleeding the air from the engines, the eECS will use only ambient air from outside the aircraft. This means that the engines will have more thrust available – especially during take-off and the climbing phase until the aircraft has reached its cruising height. The ambient air is then pressurized and conditioned to a temperature that is comfortable for passengers and the crews.


Liebherr-Aerospace has been working diligently for the past few years on concepts that allow the operation of landing gears independently of a central hydraulic system, which will no longer be present in the future More Electric Aircraft architectures. The nose landing gear is a particular challenge given the number of functions that must be performed simultaneously, such as landing gear and door actuation, unlocking, steering, and shimmy protection.

The Electrohydraulic Steering, Extension, and Retraction system – in short ESTER – was conceived to cope with these challenges, providing local hydraulic power to ensure the proper operation of the equipment. ESTER is based on the electro hydrostatic actuation technology, which Liebherr has already mastered in flight control systems.

A European Joint Undertaking

The Clean Aviation Annual Forum is organized by the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, the European Union´s leading research and innovation program for a climate-neutral and sustainable future of aviation. The associated partners from the private and public sectors are all working together to achieve the EU's targets and become climate-neutral by 2050. Liebherr-Aerospace is one of the many partners in Clean Aviation and contributes its expertise and know-how to this joint undertaking.