As government and industry plan for more environmentally friendly energy sources, companies continue to invest in and research alternative fuels for aviation. The U.S. Air Force, one of the government’s largest consumers of fuel, for example, has set a goal that 50 percent of its fuel purchases be composed of domestic synthetic fuel blends by 2016, while IATA has presented a target of 10-percent alternative fuel use for its members by 2017.
The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) was awarded a nearly $50 million six-year research grant from the Air Force to develop advanced fuels and combustion technologies. A key area in the UDRI program will be the development, validation and field testing of synthetic fuels, including biofuels from varied feed stocks.
The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has been awarded a nearly $50 million six-year research grant from the Air Force to develop advanced fuels and combustion technologies. The award follows last year’s $10 million contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory to design and operate the new Assured Aerospace Fuels Research Laboratory at nearby Wright-Patterson AFB.
Eurocontrol is warning helicopter operators, especially offshore oil operators, of a potential threat posed by “skysails,” giant kites that help propel some large ships such as oil tankers and container carriers. On September 15 a helicopter was descending over the southern North Sea to a nearby oil or gas platform when the crew saw such a skysail. It was flying ahead of a vessel, at around 1,000 feet, just below the clouds.
Honeywell (Booth No. 2600) has completed initial testing of renewable jet fuel on its TPE331 and TFE731 engines and an auxiliary power unit. Performance and fuel economy were comparable to typical aviation fuels, but emissions were reduced by 15 to 50 percent depending on the engine and its power setting. The biofuel blend tested was developed by UOP, a Honeywell subsidiary based in Des Plaines, Ill.
How many coconuts does a Boeing 747 need to fly from London to Amsterdam?
Last year amid much fanfare, a Virgin Atlantic 747-400 with one of its four engines fueled by a mix of 80 percent jet-A and 20 percent coconut and babassu oils flew the route in 40 minutes. Had all four engines been flying on biofuels alone, it would have required the oil from several million coconuts.
The FAA’s recent special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB: NE-09-25R1) regarding recommended safe-operating guidelines in the possible presence of the jet-fuel contaminant Fame (fatty acid methyl ester) has caused some confusion among operators. The agency is concerned that jet fuel could be exposed to Fame contamination through the use of multi-product fuel-transport systems and is taking steps to begin educating operators.
Honeywell last month said it completed initial testing of renewable jet fuel on its 131-9 APU and TFE731-5 turbofan engine. Bob Smith, vice president for advanced technology, said the company had seen “no degradation in engine performance or fuel consumption.” The biofuel was produced by Honeywell’s UOP unit using oil from jatropha plants and algae.
Singapore’s Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies (Stand B75) is officially unveiling its new Aeropak fuel cell system here this week. It is designed to increase the flight endurance of small and stealthy electric unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by as much as 300 percent, the new product will bring an immediate performance improvement over today’s best battery systems, according to Horizon.
The presence of Parker Hannifin Corp. (Hall 5 Stand D36) at this Paris Air Show underscores its research-and-development commitment in fields such as system health, “adaptive energy” and fuel tank safety. For example, its energy-harvesting predictive health monitoring device will allow operators to supervise the vitality of an aircraft’s systems by measuring component vibrations during flight.