• 2021-168

    Eurowings Discover

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport

    Year Founded:
    July 2021

    Airline Group:
    Lufthansa Group


A Eurowings Discover Airbus A330 has been converted into a flying climate laboratory. The aircraft, registered D-AIKE, is the third aircraft in the Lufthansa Group fleet to be equipped with special sensors to take real-time measurements of the climate and atmosphere while flying around the world.

Lufthansa has been flying long-haul aircraft equipped with climate research instruments for more than seven years. The program was started with two Airbus A340s. At the same time, an Airbus A350 is being used for a separate climate research scheme called CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container). Now, an Airbus A330 will be joining the initiative, though this time, it will be in the Eurowings Discover livery.

Joining IAGOS

D-AIKE will join the IAGOS program, which stands for In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System. IAGOS is a European project to collect atmospheric data using commercial aircraft. While taking atmospheric readings on the ground is easy, taking such readings at an altitude typically requires an aircraft or weather balloon.


Photo: Lufthansa Group

Many commercial aircraft are already flying around at altitude, so it makes sense for them to gather atmospheric data when they are already in the right place. Many aircraft already feed basic information that researchers and meteorologists can use, but IAGOS aircraft have more sensitive equipment. Interestingly, we actually saw weather forecasts becoming less accurate in April 2020 when most of the global aircraft fleet was grounded as fewer basic measurements at altitude were being taken.

About D-AIKE

    D-AIKE is a new aircraft for Eurowings Discover, having been delivered to Lufthansa in December 2004. According to ch-aviation.com, the plane is 18.07 years old, having first flown on October 18th, 2004. Until August 31st, the aircraft had completed 78,461 flight hours (equating to 8.95 years in the skies) across 13,220 flight cycles. The aircraft is currently valued at $15.8 million. It has 255 seats across three cabins,

    • Economy – 185 seats – 2-4-2 layout
    • Premium economy – 28 seats – 2-3-2 layout
    • Business class – 42 seats – 2-2-2 layout

    Photo: Lufthansa Group

    The newest aircraft

    D-AIKE is the newest aircraft to join the IAGOS program, but many other airlines have been a part of the IAGOS scheme over the years,

    Airline Years Aircraft Types Used
    Lufthansa (inc. EW Discover) 1994 – Today Airbus A330, Airbus A340
    China Airlines 2012 – Today Airbus A330, Airbus A340
    Air France 1994 – Today Airbus A330, Airbus A340
    Cathay Pacific 2013 – Today Airbus A330
    Iberia 2013 – Today Airbus A330
    Hawaiian Airlines 2017 – Today Airbus A330
    Austrian Airlines 1995-2006 Airbus A340
    Air Namibia 2005-2013 Airbus A340

    According to IAGOS, South African Airways has expressed an interest in collaboration, while British Airways was a partner during the preparatory phase of the scheme.

    What do you make of aircraft collecting atmospheric data for researchers? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

    Source: simpleflying.com

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