Neste delivers first batch of sustainable aviation fuel to SFO; first company to deliver it via pipeline

Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from waste and residue raw materials, has delivered its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) via pipeline, where it will be used by major airlines committed to reducing carbon emissions.... Read more →


Velocys plc has secured a further £0.5 million (US$0.63 million) of grant funding for the Altalto waste-to-fuels project from the UK Department for Transport (DfT), under the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C). The proposed Altalto Immingham plant is planned to convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per... Read more →


Constellium SE signed a multi-year contract with Airbus. The new 10-year agreement supports all Airbus programs. Under this agreement, Constellium will supply Airbus with a broad range of advanced aluminum rolled and extruded products, including wing skin panels, sheets for fuselage panels, and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.... Read more →


LanzaTech launches LanzaJet to produce sustainable aviation fuel

LanzaTech has launched LanzaJet, Inc., a new company that will produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). With nearly $50 million in funding from Suncor Energy, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and the US Department of Energy (grant), LanzaJet will start construction on a demonstration plant that will produce... Read more →


Representatives of the Lufthansa Group and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich), with ETH spin-offs Climeworks and Synhelion, have signed a joint Letter of Intent for a possible cooperation to accelerate the market launch of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). The researchers and engineers at ETH Zurich have developed... Read more →


magniX, a company developing electric propulsion systems for aircraft, and AeroTEC, a leading independent company focused on aerospace testing, engineering and certification, announced the successful flight of an all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan 208B. The successful flight of the eCaravan, enabled by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, took place... Read more →


Engineering company Gaussin and energy major Total are jointly developing the first full electric aircraft refueler transporter (ART FULL ELEC). Planned for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, this prototype will be capable of towing two fuel tankers, with a fuel capacity of 30 tons each. Delivery is expected at... Read more →


ASTM approves 7th annex to D7566 sustainable jet fuel specification: HC-HEFA

ASTM International has approved and published a seventh annex to D7566, the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) specification, with support from the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). In February 2020, ASTM International approved and published the sixth annex to D7566, establishing criteria for the production and use of catalytic hydrothermolysis... Read more →


A team of researchers at the Institute of Technological Sciences at Wuhan University has demonstrated a prototype design of a propulsion thruster that utilizes air plasma induced by microwave ionization. Such a jet engine simply uses only air and electricity to produce high temperature and pressurized plasma for jet propulsion.... Read more →


A team from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has demonstrated continuous detonation in a rotating detonation rocket engine (RDRE) (earlier post) powered by H2/O2 propellants. The results show continuous five-wave co-rotating detonations at various equivalence ratios and flow rates demonstrating the potential... Read more →


Airbus and Rolls Royce jointly have decided to end the E-Fan X demonstrator program. (Earlier post.) Launched in 2017, the E-Fan X project sought to develop a near-term hybrid-electric flight demonstrator for commercial aircraft. … decarbonizing the aviation industry is no small feat. To achieve this, we need to re-focus... Read more →


Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA has cut its 2020 production plans by some 32% in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on key end-use markets. Citing the implications of a collapse in air travel on the need for new aircraft and repairs to the existing fleet, along with production... Read more →


Compared to “business-as-usual”, by September 2020 international air passenger totals could drop by as many as 1.2 billion travellers according to the latest projections from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO ran two projections compared to baseline: V-shaped path (a first sign of recovery in late May); and U-shaped... Read more →


Workhorse Group Inc., a company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector, has expanded its patent portfolio through a recently filed provisional application, further protecting the HorseFly Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and several of the system’s key components and capabilities, including its ground control... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group appointed J. Scott Drennan as Vice President of its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division. Drennan will report to Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Head of UAM Division. In this role, Drennan will lead UAM research and development. Prior to joining Hyundai, Drennan spent more than... Read more →


Lilium, the Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft for regional air mobility (earlier post), completed an internal funding round worth more than $240 million. The round was led by Tencent, with participation from other existing investors including Atomico, Freigeist and LGT. The all-electric Lilium Jet... Read more →


NASA has released a series of concept images of the all-electric X-57 Maxwell airplane (earlier post), showcasing aspects of its final Mod IV configuration during different flight modes. The artist’s concept image shows NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell, flying shortly after takeoff in its final configuration over NASA’s... Read more →


Researchers at the University of South Australia (UniSA), in partnership with DragonFly, are working to deploy a drone to monitor and to detect remotely people with infectious respiratory conditions. The drone will be fitted with a specialized sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates,... Read more →


Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are developing a new dynamic aircraft simulation tool—named Aeronomie—that will allow engineers to simulate entire flights and test how all kinds of aircraft perform—including electric and hybrid airplanes, vehicles for urban air mobility, and unmanned aerial vehicles. With Aeronomie, users can automatically build virtual aircraft... Read more →


Preem has chosen Haldor Topsoe’s HydroFlex renewable fuel hydrotreating technology to produce clean renewable diesel and jet fuel at its Gothenburg refinery in Sweden. The 16,000 barrels-per-day unit will have a yearly production capacity of approximately one million cubic meters of fuels which corresponds to about 25% of Sweden’s estimated... Read more →


Finnair and Neste have signed a new agreement which will “gradually and considerably” increase Finnair’s use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in its operations. The new partnership will be a key contributing factor in Finnair’s long-term target of carbon neutrality. Sustainable aviation fuels—assuming large-scale availability—could be a key part of... Read more →


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, and Masten Space Systems Inc. successfully tested a liquid methane rocket engine, the first of its kind tested at AFRL. The Masten 25k lbf thrust Broadsword rocket engine. (Masten Space Systems photo/Matthew Kuhns) The M10A Broadsword is a LOX/LCH4... Read more →


Gevo secures funding from Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund

Gevo, Inc. has been awarded part of The Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund to support the development of waste to biofutures projects in Queensland, Australia. The W2B fund provides targeted funding for pilot, demonstration or commercially scalable biorefinery projects in Queensland that use conventional waste streams or biomass to... Read more →


Researchers led by Prof. WANG Feng at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported that photocatalytic decarboxylation is an efficient alternate pathway for converting biomass-derived fatty acids into alkanes under mild conditions of ambient temperature and pressure. This finding was published in... Read more →


Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX), an aviation technology start-up, and Spirit AeroSystems, a global aircraft design and manufacturing company, have signed a memorandum of understanding and a definitive agreement to cooperate on creation of affordable, certified all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The program aims to converge automotive mass production... Read more →


Building on its $2-million investment for an ongoing feasibility study with Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF), Delta has entered into one of the largest airline offtake agreements of its kind to purchase sustainable aviation fuel, if produced, from NWABF. The NWABF process uses the gasification of woody biomass to produce syngas... Read more →


ASTM International has approved and published a sixth pathway for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The latest annex to the SAF specification, D7566, establishes criteria for the production and use of catalytic hydrothermolysis jet fuel (CHJ), a type of synthetic kerosene. Catalytic hydrothermolysis to jet fuel. Wang et... Read more →


TDK Corporation subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. has invested in AutoFlightX, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air mobility company. AutoFlightX is an eVTOL air-cargo and air-taxi company headquartered in Munich, with R&D centers in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China. AutoFlightX is the fourth investment by the TDK corporate venture capital... Read more →


Wright Electric announced the start of its electric propulsion development program for its flagship 186-seat electric aircraft, named Wright 1. In order to achieve the commercial flight capability of the Wright 1, Wright is engineering electrical systems at the megawatt scale by building a 1.5 MW electric motor and inverter... Read more →


Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), with colleagues at Yale University, have developed a photochemical process to convert acetone derived from plants (bio-acetone) into a mixture of polycyclic alkanes, the high energy density of which is appropriate for high-perfomance aviation applications. A paper on the work appears in the... Read more →


Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel refined from waste and residues, will deliver renewable jet fuel (sustainable aviation fuel, SAF) to Zurich Airport during the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos, Switzerland. This is the first time SAF is available in Switzerland. Neste MY... Read more →


Over the last five years, Rolls-Royce has been pioneering world-first technology that will contribute to the UK’s next-generation Tempest program, which is developing a sixth-generation jet fighter for the British Royal Air Force and the Italian Aeronautica Militare (AMI). The “Team Tempest” consortium comprises the UK Ministry of Defense, BAE... Read more →


Toyota is collaborating with Joby Aviation (Joby), an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to enable the deployment of fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services. The collaboration reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to... Read more →


Shell Aviation, World Energy collaborate to increase supply of sustainable aviation fuel; SAF to Lufthansa at SFO

Shell Aviation and World Energy are collaborating to develop a scalable supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The agreement is intended to be a multi-year collaboration, with both companies acknowledging that the path to lower carbon emissions in aviation requires long-term commitment and collaboration. As part of the collaboration, Shell... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Company unveiled at CES 2020 its vision for urban mobility to help vitalize human-centered future cities. To realize the vision, Hyundai Motor showcased three mobility solutions, comprising Urban Air Mobility (UAM); Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV), and Hub, a place for mobility transfer and community activities. Based on these... Read more →


Uber and Hyundai Motor Company announced a new partnership to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride share network and unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability... Read more →


JetBlue to go carbon neutral on all domestic flights by offsetting emissions starting in 2020; flying with SAF from SFO

JetBlue will offset carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue flights beginning in July 2020, making it the first major US airline to take this measurable step toward reducing its contribution to global warming. JetBlue also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in... Read more →


Delta has entered a long-term offtake agreement under which Delta will purchase 10 million gallons per year of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from Gevo—specifically, Gevo’s Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The lifecycle carbon footprint of SAFs can be up to 75% less than conventional jet fuel. Delta’s agreement with Gevo... Read more →


ARPA-E to award up to $55M in two programs to support electric aviation

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $55 million in funding for two programs to support the development of low-cost electric aviation engine technology and powertrain systems. Research on Aviation-class Synergistically Cooled Electric-motors with iNtegrated Drives (ASCEND) and Range Extenders for Electric Aviation... Read more →


KLM purchases Neste SAF for flights out of Schiphol

KLM has purchased sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for flights out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The sustainable fuel is produced by Neste from used cooking oil and will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil kerosene. This purchase marks the first time the fuel will be supplied using... Read more →


Bombardier using Gevo’s sustainable aviation fuel for new aircraft deliveries in Canada

Avfuel is providing Bombardier with an inaugural shipment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for new customer aircraft deliveries in Canada. Avfuel sources SAF from Gevo and blends it with petroleum-based jet fuel. This mixture is then tested for fuel quality and to ensure it meets ASTM D1655 standards. The product... Read more →


BAE Systems is collaborating with Jaunt Air Mobility to explore the development of electric energy management systems for urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles through a memorandum of understanding (MOU). UAM is an aviation industry term for on-demand and automated passenger or cargo-carrying air transportation services, typically flown without a pilot.... Read more →


INRIX study identifies routes with greatest potential for e-VTOL services

A new study by INRIX has identified the routes with greatest potential where Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (e-VTOL) services could instantly provide fast, reliable trips to broad geographic areas. While the e-VTOL market is still in its infancy, the potential is massive over the long run to reshape commuting... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Company announced a new roadmap—Strategy 2025—intended to secure its position as a frontrunner in the future mobility industry. Under Strategy 2025, the company will foster Smart Mobility Device and Smart Mobility Service as two core business pillars; the synergy between the two pillars is expected to facilitate the... Read more →


LanzaTech moving forward on scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels in US and Japan

LanzaTech continues to make strides in scaling up its alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) platform. Commercialization of the ATJ process has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech and the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL developed a unique catalytic process to upgrade ethanol to alcohol-to-jet synthetic... Read more →


MIT team finds aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate

Researchers at MIT have determined that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate. In an open-access paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they examine how this damage can be mitigated, and provide consistent comparative assessments of aviation emissions trade-offs, considering both... Read more →


Qantas Group targets net zero carbon emissions by 2050; $50M investment in sustainable aviation fuels

The Qantas Group announced it will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a major expansion of the airline’s commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry. With actions starting from today, the Australian national carrier will immediately double the number of flights being offset; cap net emissions from 2020... Read more →


Airbus makes strategic investment in advanced Li-ion battery company Amprius; silicon nanowire anode technology

Airbus Defence and Space has made a strategic investment in Amprius Inc. The first to introduce 100% silicon anodes in lithium-ion batteries to the market in 2013, Amprius manufactures the highest energy density commercial batteries in the industry. The company’s products and technology platforms include a 100% silicon nanowire anode;... Read more →


In China, the recently opened Airbus China Innovation Center (ACIC) battery lab is looking to power a new generation of electric-powered aerial vehicles. Asia is the global epicenter of battery development and production, with Japan and Korea as the worldwide leaders. However, China is rapidly catching up to the traditional... Read more →


Aerojet Rocketdyne teams with NASA to develop novel rocket engine technology; 3D printing

Aerojet Rocketdyne has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to design and manufacture a lightweight rocket engine thrust chamber assembly using innovative additive manufacturing processes and materials. The goal of the project is to reduce manufacturing costs and make a thrust chamber that is... Read more →