“It’s not that easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog in the first season of Sesame Street in 1970. Nearly four decades later, “being green” means something entirely different, but it still isn’t easy.
Oil prices have slid back since reaching a peak of $145 a barrel in July, resulting in jet-A prices finally falling by a significant amount. Although they remain sharply higher compared to this time last year, retail jet-A prices at U.S. FBOs have dropped in many cases below $6 per gallon. And while some FBOs at major U.S.
Soon-to-be GD property Jet Aviation and Tropic Air of São Paulo announced at LABACE they have signed a partnership agreement under which the two companies will work together to provide aircraft management and charter services throughout Latin America.
Increased use of the Internet and software improvements have made Jet-Care International’s engine condition health online (Echo) program more user-friendly, according to technical director Peter Smith. Previously, the monthly reports sent to customers were mailed or faxed, but Echo can now e-mail the reports as PDF files.
Pratt & Whitney Canada is leading a four-year, university-industry biofuel research project under a Canada-India science and technology agreement. The program will identify and test a number of “second generation” biofuels that do not compete with food resources, such as jatropha (succulent plants), algae and biobutanol. The program will also compare current jet fuels with first- and second-generation biofuels.
There is no short-term fix for the high price of oil, concluded panelists at the Air Service Energy Summit, held on July 10 in Washington, D.C.
Jet-Care International has recently upgraded its corporate aircraft from a Piper Malibu piston single to a new Cessna CJ1. The UK-based specialist in aero-engine oil and debris analysis took delivery of the new aircraft in August and is keeping it busy with flights all around Europe, including to its new laboratory in Basel, Switzerland. The company also provides engine condition trend monitoring (ECTM) using gas path analysis (GPA).
Learjet and Challenger maintenance company Spectra Jet has opened an FBO at Springfield Airport in Ohio. The new FBO, named FBO S-Jet, is the result of months of negotiations with the city of Springfield, according to owner and president Mike Catherwood. FBO S-Jet is offering reduced avgas and jet-A prices “to be more competitive with the surrounding airports,” he said.
Apopka, Fla.-based GreenFlight International continues to refine its “first generation” biofuel for jets and plans to conduct the first biofuel transcontinental flight using this blend within the next 60 days, company founder Douglas Rodante said. At press time, the company was running a turbine engine on a ground test stand with different blends of soy and animal-fat oils to find the cleanest-burning jet fuel that meets ASTM standards.
Anyone in the air transport sector who remains unconvinced by the clarion calls for aviation to be held accountable for its impact on the environment will surely accept that sustained increases in the cost of jet fuel have removed any remaining doubt about the imperative for the industry to make more efficient use of this life-blood commodity.