The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month issued a report that examined the effect that rising fuel prices have had on civil aviation in the U.S. The government’s interest lies in the excise taxes imposed on the sale of aviation fuel and their contribution to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was created in 1970 as a dedicated source of funding for the nation’s aviation system including the FAA’s capital improvement programs and a sizable portion of the agency’s operating budget.
One-hundred octane low-lead avgas (100LL) is on its way out. Despite the fact that studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to demonstrate a clearly higher risk attributable to lead emissions by piston-engine 100LL-burning aircraft, lead is poisonous in any concentration.
Atlantic FuelEx has been appointed as a member of the steering committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO). The Dubai-based company is the first fuel reseller to be appointed to the group, which is focused on improving the reliability and quality of fuel supplies to carriers in the region.
GE Aviation, which consumes more than 10 million gallons of jet fuel annually at its engine testing centers, will broaden its fuel source beginning in 2016. A 10-year agreement calls for GE to purchase 500,000 gallons of cellulosic synthetic biofuel annually from the D’Arcinoff Group. The company will use the low-emissions jet fuel at its main jet engine testing facility in Peebles, Ohio. Options are in place to order up to 10 million gallons of the synthetic biofuel annually.
Purdue University pilots flew an Embraer Phenom 100 partially powered by a mix of biofuel and jet-A to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Friday. The biofuel blend–a mixture of a camelina-based biofuel and jet-A provided by the U.S. Air Force–was used to power one of the Phenom’s engines; the other engine ran on jet-A alone. Key flight performance measurements were recorded and will be studied.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) is preparing two recently purchased Cirrus SR22s as flying testbeds for its clean-sheet design Vision 350 diesel aero engine. One of the airplanes is located at EPS’s New Richmond, Wis. headquarters, while the other is being prepared for flight testing in a hangar at the Mojave airport in California. The engine is on display outside the Innovation Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, mounted to an SR22 firewall.
I remember well that night 17 years ago when TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all aboard. I was settling down with some friends at my brother’s Manhattan apartment to watch a game between the Red Sox and their arch-rival Yankees when the game broadcast was interrupted by news that an airliner had crashed soon after takeoff from JFK International.
A day after revealing its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston engine helicopters on unleaded fuel (see article on page 10), Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. C23) shared its strategy for doing so. CEO Kurt Robinson and engineering vice president Pete Riedl spelled out the steps required and the technical issues involved.
The first 100-percent civil biofuel flight, conducted on October 29 in a Falcon 20, showed that the fuel is cleaner and just as efficient as conventional jet-A, according to results released by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. Information collected in flight and analyzed by the NRC revealed a 50-percent reduction in aerosol emissions.
Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) achieved a milestone in the quest for adoption of biofuels when it made the first flight by a civil jet powered by 100-percent unblended biofuel. At the end of October, the NRC’s Dassault Falcon 20 made the historic flight over Ottawa, burning a new biofuel known as ReadiJet, derived from Brassica carinata, an inedible oilseed crop provided by feedstock producer Agrisoma Biosciences.
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