At last week’s Paris Air Show strong examples of leadership in efforts to reduce air transport’s environmental footprint came from two sources that, at least in the eyes of sometimes sanctimonious European observers, have not been seen as being at the vanguard of such moves: the U.S. and business aviation. During the administration of former President George W. Bush, the U.S.
Gulfstream Aerospace selected Securaplane’s lithium-ion battery as standard equipment on its new G650. The multimillion-dollar deal marks the first time a Gulfstream aircraft will feature the technology, which is some 50-percent lighter than conventional NiCad or lead-acid batteries and carries a higher energy density. The subsidiary of UK-based Meggitt said the weight reduction per shipset equates to nearly one passenger.
Here we are, 41,000 feet in the air, sailing along at a little more than 476 knots and a little more than halfway from Morristown, N.J., to the Paris Air Show. We’ve got a biofuel blend of Honeywell’s finest and jet-A feeding engine one and straight jet-A in the other. The G450’s Rolls-Royce engines appear to be perfectly happy on a diet of either, and the flight is as smooth as a glass-top table.
Two years ago at the last Paris Air Show, jet biofuels were just talked about, but at the airshow this week they appear to have come of age. On Saturday, Honeywell made history by landing a Gulfstream G450 at Paris Le Bourget after the first transatlantic flight using a blend of biofuel and jet-A.
What does it take to make a million barrels of “green” oil a day? According to San Diego, California-based Sapphire Energy (Hall 3 E118), the answer lies in combination of new environmentally friendly technologies. Sapphire aims to be producing about 67 barrels (2,800 gallons) of its fuel per day by 2014. By 2018, it hopes to be producing between 5,000 and 10,000 barrels of green crude per day.
Honeywell made history here in Paris on Saturday morning, landing its Gulfstream G450 jet at Le Bourget after the first transatlantic flight using biofuel. The trip’s green credentials can be measured in the 5.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) saved in the course of the seven-hour flight from the New York-area Morristown Airport. In fact, the aircraft crossed the Pond only partly powered by biofuel.
Washington state and its neighbors in the U.S. Pacific Northwest claim to have established an early leadership position in the development of sustainable aviation biofuels.
Dassault Aviation has awarded GKN Aerospace a life-of-program contract to design and build the wing movable surfaces for its next-generation, super mid-sized (SMS) business jet. It is one of the first major system supplier selections to be announced for the long-anticipated program. The work likely will be done at GKN’s Filton operation in the UK, which to date has focused mainly on wing production for Airbus.
Independence Bio-Products of Dublin, Ohio, has produced algae oil, which has been converted to jet fuel and then successfully tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB. The algae was grown in open ponds in Ohio and harvested with IBP’s proprietary system. This milestone is part of a federally funded project to examine algae-to-fuel processing strategies.
Where is business aviation with its ambitious long-term goals in cutting CO2 emissions? Back in November 2009, the industry’s main lobbying groups late issued a “commitment on climate change” that achieved pledges including an intent to be carbon neutral by 2020. Ahead of this week’s EBACE show, AIN reviewed the stated goals with the U.S.