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.
Aluminum maker Alcan Global Aerospace has won two major contracts on the new Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier C Series aircraft for which it will supply light alloys from its new Airware range. Airware combines technologies and services to improve metal performance, reduce cost and facilitate recycling.
Part and subassembly specialist Figeac Aero is a first-time exhibitor here at the Farnborough airshow (Hall 1 Stand A15), with the news that it is expanding its activities to include hard metal machining. After having been badly hit by the economy last year, the French company hopes revenues are back on an ascending curve.
Snecma and GE Aviation are developing new materials to make future engines lighter and improve their efficiency. In the works are alloys using exotic metals such as niobium, and composites using organic, ceramic or metal matrices. The two companies will employ these technologies for the Leap-X engine they are developing under their CFM joint venture (Hall 4 Stand B13) and possibly for other projects.
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.
Chevron Global Aviation, which operates five oil refineries, “will withdraw from marketing Chevron- and Texaco-branded aviation fuels in 27 states [approximately 200 locations],” the company said in a statement issued last week.
The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and National Air Transportation Association (NATA) both recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on proposed new rules for limiting de-icing fluid runoff at commercial airports. The EPA proposal would establish standards for the amount of aircraft de-icing fluid that airports must recapture and prevent from entering wastewater runoff.
Responding to new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that could eventually become law, Octagon Process has developed a Type 1 de-icer fluid that uses less propylene glycol than typical fluids. According to Octagon president Joe McGrail, when propylene glycol gets into wetlands, it breaks down and microorganisms form and attack the glycol.
US Aviation in Denton, Texas, is the first FBO in the U.S. to install stainless steel-lined fuel tanks in its fuel farm. Traditional fuel storage tanks use an epoxy inner liner, and this liner “has a tendency to break down,” according to Jeff Soules, the FBO’s senior v-p and general manager. Benefits of the stainless-steel liners include no initial startup problems or chips, flaking or biological disintegration of the epoxy, he said.
AAR has been appointed as a distributor for the new AirManager air filtration system developed by Quest International to eliminate potentially harmful airborne contaminates. U.S.-based AAR will be helping the UK’s Quest to find new applications for the active air filtration and sterilization system, which is based on close-coupled field technology.