Archive for the 'biofuel' Category

Airbus A380 Flies On Alternative Fuel

As AirlineWorld has reported last year, Boeing had earlier announced two test flights with alternative fuel to be conducted together with Air New Zealand sometime through 2008 (later a similar plan was announced in cooperation with Virgin Atlantic) . As a slap in the face, Airbus earlier this week announced that they have successfully carried out a similar test one week ago, on Friday, 01FEB2008, becoming the first ever commercial flight using such fuel.

As ATW and Airbus have reported, Airbus operated this test flight using a liquid fuel processed from gas on its new, supposedly currently most eco-friendly super-jumbo, the A380 (test aircraft A380 MSN004). The commercial aircraft was partially powered by an alternative fuel. The Gas to Liquids (GTL) test flight between two of Aribus’s operational bases from Filton, UK to Toulouse, France lasted 3 hr. During the flight, engine number one of four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines was fed with a blend of GTL and jet fuel while the remaining three consumed regular standard jet fuel. Shell International Petroleum provided the GTL. During the test flight, they have tested maximum throttle, maximum flight altitude, and maximum speed as well.

Airbus A380 flies on alternative fuel (photo from China Post)

The test, which the manufacturer said was the first of several of its kind that it will conduct, was in accordance with the agreement it signed in November 2007 with the Qatar GTL consortium partners, which include Qatar Airways, Rolls-Royce, Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Woqod Qatar Fuel Co. “This is the first step of a long-term Airbus testing phase to evaluate viable and sustainable alternative fuels for the future,” the company said. “GTL could be available at certain locations to make it a practical and viable drop-in alternative fuel for commercial aviation in the short term. GTL has attractive characteristics for local air quality, as well as some benefits in terms of aircraft fuel burn relative to existing jet fuel.” GTL is virtually free of sulphur, it noted. Qatar Airways has a target to become the first airline in the world to use such a synthetic fuel in their everyday operations.

Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders called the flight “a great achievement,” adding: “Fuel and environment are key challenges aviation is facing and for which technology and international research collaboration open up new horizons. Our alternative fuels roadmap requires innovation, diversity of ideas and options that need to be explored.

The official video of the test flight by Airbus can be viewed here. 

by balint01

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IATA Urges for a Greener Globe

Cannes – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) challenged governments to put aside politics and join industry in delivering real results to further improve air transport’s good environmental performance. The challenge was delivered by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani at the World Air Transport Forum in Cannes, which is focused on sustainable development.

“Airlines are leading the debate on environment with a vision to become carbon neutral in the medium-term and zero carbon emissions in the long term. We are setting the benchmark on environmental performance for other industries to follow,” said Bisignani.

IATA’s 240 member airlines agreed a four-pillar strategy on climate change:

1. Invest in new technology
2. Build and use efficient infrastructure
3. Operate planes effectively and
4. Consider positive economic measures while working with  governments to define an emissions trading scheme that is fair, global and voluntary.

“The strategy is not just words. We have delivered real results,” said Bisignani. In 2006, IATA’s fuel campaign saved six million tonnes of CO2 by shortening 350 routes; eight million tonnes of CO2 by working with airlines on best practice in fuel management; and one million tonnes of CO2 through better operational procedures.

“We cannot do it all on our own – governments must be involved,” said Bisignani. All 179 states attending the recent triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization endorsed the IATA four-pillar strategy, including a  target to improve fuel efficiency 25% by 2020.

“Our biggest disappointment was with the European States. They are taking a completely political and totally irresponsible approach by unilaterally pursuing emissions trading rather than taking a global approach. This will cause diplomatic trade battles, but will do nothing for the environment,” said Bisignani.

Specifically, Bisignani criticised Europe for the 12 million tonnes of CO2 wasted each year from the inefficiency of its air traffic management system, comprising 34 air navigation service providers. “Europe has been discussing a Single European Sky for 15 years, wasting a lot of hot air in discussions, with no action. On the environment it is acting like a hypocrite: charging for airline emissions without fixing the mess in its own air traffic management.”

Source: iata.com

Air New Zealand, Boeing and Rolls Royce Joint Development – Biofuel

Earlier we started a block about enviroment friendly initiations of airlines. We promised there to publish everything we find about this topic to support developments this way.

The following press release came from Air New Zealand. This is the complete article:

The airline will sign a memorandum of understanding today with aircraft manufacturer Boeing and engine maker Rolls-Royce to work together on projects aimed at ensuring that commercial aviation continues to become more environmentally sustainable.

The inaugural step in the relationship will be the first commercial trial of a bio fuelled, Rolls-Royce powered, Boeing aircraft toward the second half of next year/early 2009. The Boeing 747 flight, which is likely to depart Auckland and will not carry customers, will be conducted under strict safety standards.

Only one engine will run on a blended bio fuel/kerosene mix and the remaining three will be powered by regular aviation fuel. An announcement on the source and mix of the blended fuel will be made closer to the time of the flight.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says the test flight is another step in Air New Zealand’s plan to lead the global aviation industry in developing the most environmentally responsible airline practices possible and the most environmentally responsible airline.

Mr Fyfe says that as little as a year ago bio fuel seemed like “pie in the sky” to many aviation industry observers, but it is now a possibility and technology is moving so fast that it may become viable in a much shorter timeframe than previously thought.

“Air New Zealand is keen to encourage research into alternative fuels and wants to work hand-in-hand with industry partners and the New Zealand Government on promoting this type of activity. Today is a day that both the airline and country should be proud of. We are taking the first steps on what promises to be an inspiring and defining journey.”

Mr Fyfe says Air New Zealand would like to progress to an all New Zealand bio fuel for future tests flights, but sourcing the quantity necessary may be a challenge in the short term.

Air New Zealand has already made significant steps towards becoming one of the world’s most environmentally responsible airlines through a large fleet investment programme.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, due to come into Air New Zealand service in 2010, will save 20 per cent more fuel than similar aircraft through a combination of new technology and weight reduction.

“Along with the efficient Boeing 777s currently being flown by the airline, this will ensure Air New Zealand has one of the youngest, most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly long haul fleets in the world,” Mr Fyfe says.

“Our long haul fleet purchases together with initiatives underway in the area of fuel saving, weight reduction and flying techniques put Air New Zealand at the forefront of environmentally responsibilities.”

By Szafi

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