Major airframers and component suppliers have instituted new research programs and initiatives to develop electric propulsion for light aircraft. The consensus among the participating parties is that battery and motor technology offering similar performance and endurance of small piston engines is roughly 10 years away.
Under a plan first revealed two years ago, Rolls-Royce and British Airways have invited fuel suppliers to participate in tests to evaluate alternative aviation fuels in a study to seek practical alternatives to kerosene, the current standard fuel. The two companies have requested samples for possible laboratory and rig trials and, ultimately, tests on a Rolls-Royce RB211-524G engine from a British Airways Boeing 747-400.
Plans by British Airways and U.S. energy solutions company Solena Group to establish Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant–dubbed “GreenSky”–are being outlined here at the Farnborough airshow by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), which claims to lead the development, testing, environmental acceptance, qualification and deployment of alternative aviation fuels.
Participation by more than 200 American companies at the U.S. International Pavilion here at the Farnborough airshow underscores the strong resurgence of the North American aerospace industry after two years of economic turmoil, organizers and delegates said.
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.
President Obama’s 180-day moratorium on new permits for Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling is beginning to pinch helicopter operators in the region.
Centurion Aircraft Engines’ Centurion 2.0s is now available in Europe as an upgrade through a supplemental type certificate (STC), which covers installing the 155-hp engine on the Cessna 172F through -S models. EASA issued the STC to Centurion on May 21. The 2.0s provides 20 more horsepower than the original Centurion 2.0. It is Fadec-controlled to keep engine parameters within range and is operated through a single lever power control.
The FAA awarded five contracts worth a total of $125 million over five years to engine manufacturers and Boeing to “develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce commercial jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise.” The research is intended to accelerate introduction of green technology in the FAA’s Next Generation air traffic modernization program as part of the agency’s continuous lower energy, emissions and noise (Cleen) program.
Federal officials said they would move quickly to circumvent and appeal a U.S. District Judge’s injunction on June 22 to overturn President Obama’s six-month ban on new deepwater offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The President imposed the ban after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion. Under the ban, the Interior Department stopped issuing new drilling permits and halted drilling at 33 exploratory wells.
Federal officials said they would move quickly to circumvent and appeal a U.S. District Judge’s injunction Tuesday to overturn the Obama Administration’s six-month ban on new deepwater offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the ban, which was imposed shortly after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Interior Department stopped issuing new drilling permits and halted drilling at 33 exploratory wells.