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.
Adverse oil prices and cut-throat rivalry have left airlines scrambling to limit losses with the increasingly attractive option of jet-fuel hedging. Although a complex exercise, hedging essentially involves locking in a forward fixed price, allowing an increasing number of airlines to avoid surprises from unforeseen cost fluctuations. Today, jet-fuel hedgers trade contracts in Singapore, Rotterdam, the U.S. Gulf Coast or New York, as well as crude and heating oil or gas oil in London and New York, the two most liquid swaps and options markets.
UOP, a Honeywell company, has announced that Honeywell Green Jet Fuel was used in a 50/50 blend with petroleum-derived jet fuel to propel all five of Gulfstream’s demonstration aircraft to this year’s NBAA convention on October 27 and 28.
The renewable fuel was made from natural oils extracted from camelina, an inedible plant that grows in conditions where food crops cannot survive.
A provision inserted into a 2005 highway bill that has given business and general aviation fuel purveyors a collective headache ever since it was enacted might be repealed in the next highway reauthorization bill. Thirty-two members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking that the provision be deleted from new highway legislation now under consideration.
While on my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a gas station and filled up my car. As I headed back onto the parkway, the engine started running rough and less than two miles later it shuddered to a stop. Knowing the eight years of wear and tear I had put on the car, I sighed as I called the tow truck, believing the grasp of mechanical old age was finally putting its inevitable squeeze on my car and wallet.
Embraer and GE recently held a series of test flights in an E170. The tests, flown out of Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facilities, benchmarked the operational characteristics of the airplane and its GE CF34-8E engines when powered by HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) fuel under a broad range of unique flight conditions.
A coalition of FBOs and fuel distributors who sell leaded avgas in California has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the state’s Attorney General in response to a planned lawsuit announced in May over the sale and use of leaded aviation gasoline.
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent a notice of violation to oil companies and fuel supplier Avfuel, as well as to more than two dozen companies at 25 California airports, notifying them that they have been violating the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65).
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.
When the Senate passed an FAA reauthorization bill in late March, the general aviation community breathed a little easier. Like the companion legislation already passed in the House, it did not contain any user fees for GA.