Jet Aviation recently completed negotiations with three major worldwide fuel suppliers to provide discounts for its charter and managed aircraft fleets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Christoph Thurnherr, head of purchasing for Jet Aviation Business Jets in Zurich, Switzerland, said the company now provides discounts at close to 300 locations worldwide, with customer savings of up to 60 percent compared with posted retail fuel prices.
The diesel-powered Diamond DA42 TwinStar made its first flight on December 9 from the factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. TwinStar’s Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines rated at 135 hp each are designed to operate on both diesel fuel and jet-A1. The composite-construction four-seat aircraft has a single-lever power control for each engine, fuel consumption of 67 pph at 180 kt and an option for an all-glass cockpit.
Since introducing its Fuelstat contamination detection kit at the Dubai Air Show in 2001, Conidia Bioscience has sold the product to major airlines, helicopter operators and corporate jet maintenance departments. The International Air Transport Association selected Conidia to host the first Asian symposium on fuel contaminants last month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
On December 17 a C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlift airplane touched down at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, completing the type’s first transcontinental flight using a synthetic fuel blend. The flight, which carried an AIN editor on its last leg from McGuire to Andrews AFB, is a crucial step in the Air Force’s plan to certify its entire fleet on synthetic fuel by 2011.
On Monday, in what Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne described as a “special and meaningful mission,” a C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlift airplane touched down at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, completing the type’s first transcontinental flight using a synthetic fuel blend.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has ruled out introducing taxes on jet fuel for commercial operators for at least three years. In a hard-fought deal struck at the close of the organization’s assembly on October 8, ICAO delegates agreed that no fuel taxes or charges can take effect before its next triennial assembly in the fall of 2007.
Synthetic fuel seems to be the new Holy Grail of air transport. The prospect of oil reserve depletion, the need to curb CO2 emissions and energy security concerns are all encouraging the industry to find a viable alternative to the current jet-A1 kerosene that can be used in current engines.
Excel-Jet is looking for a new home to continue with development of the single-engine Sport-Jet and is considering a move to Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, La., a former air force base with plenty of room for new businesses. Excel-Jet is seeking $1 million in local incentives, a new hangar, $10 million from state bonds and additional Louisiana economic development money.
Universal Weather & Aviation relocated its New York-area flight planning facility from Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y., to Jet Aviation’s FBO at Teterboro Airport (TEB), N.J. The new office, which houses the same sales staff, will offer a customer service desk, access to Jet Aviation’s pilot lounge and lobby area and more space for additional weather equipment.
General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.