Sweden is currently outlining a three-year test plan to test a locally developed biofuel in a Gripen, in a scheme that is partly funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In November 2007, Swedish Biofuels entered into an agreement with U.S.
EADS flew the first aircraft powered solely by algae-based biofuel today at the ILA Airshow in Berlin as part of the daily flying display. The Austrian-built Diamond Aircraft DA-42 NG’s two Austro Engine AE300 diesels required only minor adjustment to burn the biofuel, which is supplied by German processor VTS from algae oil provided by Biocombustibles del Chibut in Argentina.
In a bid to bolster the market for alternative fuels, two of the world's largest consumers of jet-A have formed a strategic alliance: the U.S. Air Transport Association and the U.S. Department of Defense. According to ATA president James May, environmental considerations and rising prices for petroleum-based fuel motivated the agreement signed last month.
In a move hailed as a significant advance for the bio- and synthetic fuels market, the Air Transport Association (ATA) and the U.S. Department of Defense signed a strategic alliance agreement on Friday, signaling a partnership in the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels. The two groups, which represent the vast bulk of jet fuel consumers, have a combined thirst of more than 1.5 million barrels a day.
As government and industry plan for more environmentally friendly energy sources, companies continue to invest in and research alternative fuels for aviation. The U.S. Air Force, one of the government’s largest consumers of fuel, for example, has set a goal that 50 percent of its fuel purchases be composed of domestic synthetic fuel blends by 2016, while IATA has presented a target of 10-percent alternative fuel use for its members by 2017.
Purdue University has received a $1.35 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to establish a new facility to test aircraft engines and develop alternative fuels. The National Test Facility for Fuels and Propulsion–which is expected to open late this year or early next–will be located at Purdue Airport in the school’s Niswonger Aviation Technology Building.
Honeywell (Booth No. 2600) has completed initial testing of renewable jet fuel on its TPE331 and TFE731 engines and an auxiliary power unit. Performance and fuel economy were comparable to typical aviation fuels, but emissions were reduced by 15 to 50 percent depending on the engine and its power setting. The biofuel blend tested was developed by UOP, a Honeywell subsidiary based in Des Plaines, Ill.
How many coconuts does a Boeing 747 need to fly from London to Amsterdam?
Last year amid much fanfare, a Virgin Atlantic 747-400 with one of its four engines fueled by a mix of 80 percent jet-A and 20 percent coconut and babassu oils flew the route in 40 minutes. Had all four engines been flying on biofuels alone, it would have required the oil from several million coconuts.
The FAA’s recent special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB: NE-09-25R1) regarding recommended safe-operating guidelines in the possible presence of the jet-fuel contaminant Fame (fatty acid methyl ester) has caused some confusion among operators. The agency is concerned that jet fuel could be exposed to Fame contamination through the use of multi-product fuel-transport systems and is taking steps to begin educating operators.