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.
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.
“All of aviation, including general and business aviation, as well as the airlines, is working together really well to continually improve the environment,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen declared last month during opening comments on a panel discussion about the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. But he quickly added, “We are also working together to fight wrong-headed environmental regulations that don’t work.”
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.
Parker Aerospace (Hall 5 Stand D264) is featuring its recently developed thermal management and lubrication packages for aircraft engines here at Paris 2011.
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.