Under a new cooperative agreement to work together on making aviation more sustainable, KLM will be contributing towards Delft University of Technology’s (TU Delft) research into an innovative flight concept known as the “Flying-V”, which integrates the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings, creating... Read more →


Multiple NASA centers have partnered with Virgin Orbit to develop and to test a 3D printed combustion chamber. Virgin Orbit air launches rockets carrying small satellites to space. The company partnered with NASA experts in combustion and additive manufacturing (3D printing) at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama;... Read more →


Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, working in collaboration with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Convergent Science Inc., have created a new numerical modeling tool that allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines that could one day propel the next generation of... Read more →


Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a European consortium led by EDL Anlagenbau Gesellschaft mbH signed a cooperation agreement to develop a demonstration plant that produces renewable jet fuel from air. This plant aims to be the first worldwide to offer renewable jet fuel from air to the market. The study... Read more →


KLM, SkyNRG and SHV Energy announce project to build European plant for sustainable aviation fuel: DSL-1

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has committed itself for a 10-year period to the development and purchase of 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year. KLM is the first airline in the world to invest in sustainable aviation fuel on this scale. SkyNRG, global market leader for sustainable aviation fuel... Read more →


Nouryon and Gasunie study scale-up of green hydrogen project to meet aviation fuels demand

Nouryon and Gasunie are studying an expansion of a planned green hydrogen unit at Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The feasibility study follows a deal to convert sustainable electricity into green hydrogen for SkyNRG. The plant, which would convert renewable electricity into green hydrogen via water electrolysis, could be scaled up from... Read more →


Russian researchers find simple, efficient way to strengthen aluminum-based composite materials

Scientists from the Russian National University of Science and Technology MISIS have doped aluminum melt with nickel and lanthanum to create a material combining benefits of both composite materials and standard alloys: flexibility, strength, lightness. A paper on their research is published in Materials Letters. Uniaxial tensile testing of the... Read more →


Bosch is working on sensor technology for air taxis. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that people around the world will take 1 billion flights in air taxis in 2030, once sharing services have also established a presence on fixed routes above the ground; most of those air taxis will be... Read more →


An experimental robot drone that flies like a typical quadcopter, drives on tough terrain and squeezes into tight spaces using the same motors, has been developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers. The hybrid FSTAR (flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot) will be introduced at the International Conference on Robotics... Read more →


NASA will provide $6 million over the course of three years to support a University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project focused on the development of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method. The Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft (CHEETA) project... Read more →


Neste and Air BP bring sustainable aviation fuel to Caen airport in France

Neste and Air BP are supporting the business aviation sector’s Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) initiative and helping drive its adoption with operators and aircraft manufacturers. The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) will take place in Geneva on 21-23 May 2019, and European business aviation community has an... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Madison and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering have devised a two-stage process by which an alcohol such as ethanol or 1-butanol can be converted with high yields into distillate-range ethers and olefins by combining Guerbet coupling (the coupling of two alcohol molecules) and intermolecular dehydration.... Read more →


DHL Express and intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang entered into a strategic partnership to launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China. The new customized route, which has been exclusively created for a DHL customer,... Read more →


In a study on the effect of exhaust particles from aircraft turbine engines on human lung cells, Swiss researchers have found that cells reacted most strongly to particles emitted during ground idling. The study also showed that the cytotoxic effect is only to some extent comparable to that of particles... Read more →


DOE announces $79M for bioenergy research and development

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $79 million in funding for bioenergy research and development including biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower (DE-FOA-00002029). The FOA topics will advance DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office’s (BETO) objectives to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value... Read more →


GE’s AiRXOS launches Air Mobility ecosystem, platform, and applications for urban air mobility; energy inspections with Measure

AiRXOS, part of GE Aviation, unveiled a new portfolio of autonomous solutions and partners to address the needs of autonomous transportation and the rapidly growing air mobility economy. The world is undergoing a massive transformation in how we move. From people, to cargo, to delivery, inspections, and public safety—urban air... Read more →


A partnership of Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV); Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp; and the University of Nottingham (UoN) has won grant funding in excess of £1 million (US$1.29 million) from the UK Aerospace Research and Technology Program to develop electric propulsion technologies using Airlander 10 as the... Read more →


A team of engineers has built and tested a radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces. The wing can morph to control the plane’s flight, and could provide a significant boost in aircraft production, flight, and maintenance efficiency, the researchers say. Wing is assembled... Read more →


UPS announced a groundbreaking new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through a collaboration with Matternet, a leader in autonomous drone technology. The program is taking place at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C., metropolitan area, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and... Read more →


Electric aviation technology company magniX and Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline, announced a partnership to transform Harbour Air seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet powered by the magni500, a 560 kW (751 shp) all-electric motor that delivers 2,814 N·m of torque. magni500 Operating 12 routes between hubs such... Read more →


ARPA-E announces $36M for high-temperature materials projects

The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) announced $36 million in awards for 18 projects as part of the High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes (HITEMMP) program, as well as the final OPEN+ Cohort, High Temperature Devices. These project teams seek to... Read more →


Scientists in China have developed a process for converting cellulose from plant waste from agriculture and timber harvesting into high-density aviation fuel: a polycycloalkane mixture. Tuning the reaction conditions also permits the selective production of methyl cyclopentane, which can be used as high-octane-number gasoline additive. The researchers suggest that their... Read more →


UK-based Reaction Engines has received further endorsement of its SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) design (earlier post) via its collaboration with ESA and the UK Space Agency (UKSA). The two agencies recently reviewed the preliminary design of the demonstrator engine core of the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which Reaction... Read more →


UVA Engineering researching thermoelectric materials to improve efficiency of jet engines

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Engineering are seeking to improve the efficiency of jet engines by identifying and developing thermoelectric materials that can harness excess energy. Patrick Hopkins, professor and a director of Ph.D. studies in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UVA, is leading... Read more →


Bye Aerospace’s electric Sun Flyer 2 successfully completed the first official flight test with a Siemens electric propulsion motor 8 February at Centennial Airport, south of Denver, Colo. The Sun Flyer family of aircraft, including the 2-seat Sun Flyer 2 and the 4-seat Sun Flyer 4, aims to be the... Read more →


Reintroducing commercial supersonic transport (SST) aircraft into the global aviation fleet could have significant noise and climate impacts by 2035, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The paper analyzes the landing and takeoff (LTO) noise, sonic boom, and CO2 implications of introducing 2,000... Read more →


Fewer soot particles in the exhaust stream of aircraft reduces the formation of ice crystals and therefore the climate impact of the resulting contrail cirrus. Halving the ice particles that form in the contrail decreases the climate-warming effect of the contrail cirrus by 20%; the effect is halved if there... Read more →


Boeing has successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, utilized Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will continue... Read more →


The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute that is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, announced the world’s first commercial flight using locally produced sustainable fuel on an Etihad Airways Boeing 787 powered by GE’s GEnx-1B engines. (Earlier post.) The flight from... Read more →


Gevo joins SFO consortium to advance sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

Gevo has signed on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a group of eight airlines and certain fuel producers to work cooperatively on expanding the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). (Earlier post.) The consortium, initially formed in September 2018, is the first of... Read more →


Neste Corporation will invest approximately €1.4 billion to add additional renewable products production capacity in Singapore. The decision is based on a growing global market demand for low-carbon solutions in transport and cities, aviation, polymers and chemicals. Singapore expansion. The investment will extend Neste’s renewable product overall capacity in Singapore... Read more →


British Airways challenges UK universities to develop a new generation of sustainable aviation fuel; part of $400M investment from parent

As British Airways looks towards its Centenary next year, the airline, in collaboration with Cranfield University, has challenged academics from across the UK to develop a sustainable alternative fuel which could power a commercial aircraft on a long-haul flight, carrying up to 300 customers with zero net emissions. This marks... Read more →


Renmatix and Gevo to evaluate feasibility of cellulosic hydrocarbons for renewable jet and gasoline

Gevo, Inc. and Renmatix, the leader in affordable cellulosic sugars, announced a joint development agreement to evaluate the commercial feasibility of creating renewable jet fuel by integrating Renmatix’s Plantrose Process (earlier post) with Gevo’s GIFT technology and alcohol to jet process (earlier post). Renmatix’s Plantrose Process converts cellulosic feedstocks such... Read more →


Amprius, Inc., a manufacturer and developer of high energy and high capacity lithium-ion batteries, announced that the company is supplying advanced lithium-ion cells to the Airbus Defence and Space Zephyr Program. Using Amprius’ cells, which contain a 100% silicon anode, the Zephyr S flew more than 25 days, setting a... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have utilized a series of simulations to model the performance of twin-engine hybrid-electric general-aviation propulsion systems. Their paper appears in the Journal of Aircraft. They created a flight-performance simulator to represent accurately the true flight performance of a Tecnam P2006T on a... Read more →


Audi, Airbus and Italdesign are presenting for the first time a flying and driving prototype of “Pop.Up Next”. This innovative concept for a flying taxi combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone. In the first public test flight, the flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the... Read more →


MIT researchers have demonstrated that an aircraft with a 5-meter wingspan can sustain steady-level flight using ionic-wind propulsion. The aircraft has no moving parts, does not depend on fossil fuels to fly, and is completely silent. The researchers describe their proof of concept for electroaerodynamic (EAD) airplane propulsion in a... Read more →


Japan-based biotechnology company euglena (earlier post) has completed the construction of its demonstration-scale biorefinery in Yokohama for the production of renewable jet and diesel fuels from algae and waste oil. The plant, which will use the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process (earlier post) licensed by Chevron Lummus Global / ARA, will have... Read more →


NREL to lead $5M initiative to reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency of DFW

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will lead a team of researchers—in partnership with Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world—to identify new transportation technologies that could dramatically improve energy use, convenience, and affordability. Working with DFW and the... Read more →


JBEI researchers produce high density jet fuel precursors from bacteria

Researchers with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), with colleagues in China, have produced the tricyclic sesquiterpenes epi-isozizaene, pentalenene and α-isocomene—promising jet fuel feedstocks—at high production titers, providing novel, sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuels. An open-access paper on their work appears in Biotechnology for Biofuels.... Read more →


GE Aviation has completed the initial design of the first supersonic engine purpose-built for business jets. This new engine class, revealed as GE’s Affinity turbofan, is optimized with proven GE technology for supersonic flight and timed to meet the Aerion AS2 launch (earlier post). The Affinity is a new class... Read more →


Boeing- and JetBlue-backed Zunum Aero has selected Safran Helicopter Engines as the turbine provider for its hybrid electric commercial aircraft, which will be available in the early 2020s. (Earlier post.) Safran Helicopter Engines will provide a new generation engine turbine, the Ardiden 3Z to drive the Zunum ZA10’s electrical generator.... Read more →


After 12 years developing hydrogen propulsion systems for small unmanned aircraft (earlier post), HES Energy Systems is unveiled its plans for Element One, the first regional hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft. Designed as a zero-emissions aircraft, Element One merges HES’ ultra-light hydrogen fuel cell technologies with a distributed electric aircraft propulsion design.... Read more →


United Airlines pledges to reduce own emissions by 50% by 2050; Trans-Atlantic biofuel flight

United Airlines has become the first US airline to publicly commit to reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050, relative to 2005. The pledge represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road each year, or the total number of cars in Los Angeles and... Read more →


Swiss authorities’ decision leads to the cancellation of the Renewable Jet Fuel project in Geneva Airport

Geneva Airport announced in September 2017 that it aspired to replace 1% of the conventional jet fuel used for aircrafts with renewable jet fuel in a pilot project with Neste, the leading renewable fuels company. The partners made a case for project facilitation funding to the Swiss authorities. After a... Read more →


Findings presented in a new working paper by a team at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) suggest that the new generation of supersonic aircraft currently in development by three US-based companies (e.g, earlier post) are unlikely to comply with existing international environmental standards for subsonic aircraft. The ICCT... Read more →


The UK government is awarding LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners a £410k (US$543,000) grant for partial funding of the construction of a large-scale Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of fuel in the UK. (Earlier post.) LanzaTech had submitted a bid to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) Future Fuels... Read more →


Gevo and Avfuel enter into renewable jet fuel supply agreement; first long-term commercial supply agreement for Gevo ATJ

Gevo has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) to Avfuel Corporation, effective 1 July 2018. Avfuel is a leading global supplier of aviation fuel and services to all industry consumer groups, servicing more than 3,000 locations worldwide. The agreement with Avfuel is Gevo’s first... Read more →


Velocys partners with PQ for FT catalyst manufacturing; secures funding for UK waste-to-jet project

Velocys plc has partnered with PQ Corporation (PQ) for the supply of commercial quantities of Velocys’ proprietary microchannel Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to be used in multiple biorefineries incorporating its technology. PQ is a leading global provider of specialty catalysts, services, materials and chemicals for the refinery, emissions control and petrochemical industries.... Read more →


ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). (Earlier post.) The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because... Read more →