Eurowings discovers that the Airbus A330 becomes a flying climate laboratory

  • 2021-168
    Discover Eurowings

    IATA/ICAO code:
    4 years/OCN

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Hub(s):
    Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport

    Year of foundation:
    July 2021

    Air group:
    Lufthansa Group

    Country:
    Germany

An Airbus A330 Eurowings Discover has been transformed 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 during a flight around the world.


Lufthansa has been flying long-haul aircraft equipped with climate research instruments for more than seven years. The program started with two Airbus A340. At the same time, a Airbus A350 is used for a separate climate research program called CARIBIC (VSwrong Aplanes for the Rregular Iatmospheric survey Bon a Iinstrument VScontainer). Now a Airbus A330 will join the initiative, but this time it will be in the Eurowings Discover livery.

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Join IAGOS

D-AIKE will join the IAGOS program, which means In-service Aairplane for one goverall Oobserve Ssystem. IAGOS is a European project for collecting atmospheric data using commercial aircraft. Although it is easy to take atmospheric measurements on the ground, taking such measurements at an altitude usually requires an airplane or a weather balloon.

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Photo: Lufthansa Group

Many commercial aircraft already fly at altitude, so it makes sense that they collect atmospheric data when they are already in the right place. Many aircraft already provide basic information that researchers and meteorologists can use, but IAGOS aircraft have more sensitive equipment. Interesting way, we have actually seen weather forecasts become less accurate in April 2020 when most of the world’s aircraft fleet was grounded, as fewer baseline measurements at altitude were being taken.

About D-AIKE

D-AIKE is a new aircraft for Discover Eurowings, having been delivered to Lufthansa in December 2004. According to ch-aviation.com, the aircraft is 18.07 years old, having first flown on October 18, 2004. Up to August 31, the aircraft had flown 78,461 flight hours (i.e. 8.95 years in the sky) over 13,220 flight cycles. The aircraft is currently valued at $15.8 million. It has 255 seats spread over 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

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Photo: Lufthansa Group

The newest aircraft

D-AIKE is the latest aircraft to join the IAGOS program, but many other airlines have joined the IAGOS program over the years,

Airline company Years Types of aircraft used
Lufthansa (including EW Discover) 1994 – Today Airbus A330, Airbus A340
Chinese 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 interest in a collaboration, while British Airways was a partner during the preparatory phase of the scheme.

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

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