Eurocopter and parent company EADS have teamed with Argentina-based BioCombustibles del Chubut (BC) to study the feasibility of building an aviation biofuel factory in Brazil. The three companies signed an agreement in June. The biofuel, made from algae, could be used in Eurocopter’s diesel engines for light helicopters, which are now in the research stage (see AIN, February, page 44).
The alternative aviation fuel industry continues to conduct flight tests to validate the use of new jet-fuel blends. At the end of April, United Airlines became the first U.S. commercial carrier to fly using a certified synthetic-fuel blend that received ASTM approval last year.
Diamond Aircraft founder and CEO Christian Dries yesterday revealed plans to develop a fully aerobatic, tandem two-seat military trainer version of the D-Jet that he said will have ejection seats and sell for less than $3 million.
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.
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.
In the interest of diversifying its fuel supply, the U.S. Air Force has been testing and certifying engines to run on a mixture of conventional jet fuel and biofuels derived from plants. Last month, testing began on a GE F110 using a 50/50 blend of the two fuels at the Arnold Engineering Development Center at AFB in Tennessee.
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.
The FAA has awarded contracts valued at $125 million to several manufacturers to develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce jet aircraft fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The contracts–awarded to Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce North America–are part of the agency’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (Cleen) program.
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.