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 →


Porsche and Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace. With this partnership, both companies will leverage their respective market strengths and insights to study the future of premium urban air mobility vehicles. As part of... Read more →


Neste to open office for growing Renewable Aviation business; launching Neste MY Renewable Diesel in the Netherlands

Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel, has opened a new office in Hoofddorp, in greater Amsterdam which will serve as the global hub for the growing Renewable Aviation business. Neste is now also launching Neste MY Renewable Diesel to climate-conscious fleet customers in the Netherlands. The opening of... Read more →


Lufthansa to use Neste sustainable aviation fuel blends on flights departing from Frankfurt

Neste, the world’s leading renewable fuel producer, and Lufthansa are strengthening their collaboration regarding the development of renewable solutions for aviation. As part of the collaboration, Lufthansa will use Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel blended with fossil jet fuel on flights departing from Frankfurt. The first batch of sustainable aviation fuel... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group appoints NASA research exec to lead new Urban Air Mobility division

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has appointed Dr. Jaiwon Shin as Executive Vice President and Head of its newly established Urban Air Mobility Division. An internationally renowned aeronautics engineer, Dr. Shin will lead the company into a new era of developing smart mobility products within the aviation industry. Having worked on... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a new temporary fuel pathway for Alternative Jet Fuel. A fuel-reporting entity approved for use of this pathway may report quantities of fuel to generate credits effective Q2, 2019 and subsequent quarters. Alternative jet fuel is defined as a drop-in fuel, made... Read more →


A new International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) report finds that aviation emissions are increasing 70% faster than UN projections that already point to a tripling of CO2 by 2050. In other words, the climate challenge for aviation is worse than expected. The report was issued in advance of the... Read more →


On the eve of its 50th anniversary earlier this month, Embraer unveiled images of a demonstrator aircraft with 100% electric propulsion technology, which is currently under development in collaboration with WEG. The first flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2020. The electric prototype is based on the EMB-203 Ipanema.... Read more →


Altalto waste-to-jet fuel plant advances in UK; BA, Shell, Velocys

Altalto Immingham Limited, a subsidiary of renewable fuels company Velocys and a collaboration with British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application to develop its site in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, close to the Humber Estuary. Velocys is leading the development of the project and has assembled all the... Read more →


In the latest effort to make aviation sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ZeroAvia announced advancements in developing a hydrogen-fueled electric powertrain. The solution aims to deliver the same performance as a conventional aircraft engine, and much lower operating costs. ZeroAvia plans to start supplying its platform to commercial operators... Read more →


Gevo enters into purchase and sale agreement for ATJ fuel with Air TOTAL International

Air TOTAL International SA and Gevo have entered into a purchase and sale agreement for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)—specifically, Alcohol-to-Jet, ATJ—for use and distribution in France and other parts of Europe. The three-year offtake agreement may be extended for an additional four years with the consent of both parties. With... Read more →


IISA study proposes using airships for efficient cargo or hydrogen transportation

Reintroducing airships into the world’s transportation mix could contribute to lowering the transport sector’s carbon emissions and can play a role in establishing a sustainable hydrogen based economy, according to a new IIASA-led study. The open-access paper is published in the journal Energy Conversion and Management: X. Airships were introduced... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Because of the long distances typically involved in flying, your next airline trip will likely contribute a substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Obviously, to minimize the emissions, taking a nonstop flight is the way to go because that will result in the shortest distance flown. However,... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has proposed carbon intensity (CI) values for a new Temporary LCFS pathway for Alternative Jet Fuel. Public comments on the proposed new Temporary pathway are being accepted through 16 September prior to certification. Upon certification, this new Temporary pathway will be available for LRT-CBTS... Read more →


James Cook University researchers using 3D printing for rocket fuels

James Cook University (JCU) scientists in Australia are using 3D printing to create fuels for rockets, and using tailor-made rocket motors they’ve built to test the fuels. JCU lecturer in mechanical engineering Dr Elsa Antunes led the study, published in an open-access paper in the journal Aerospace. The JCU scientists... Read more →


UPS forms subsidiary and applies for FAA Part 135 certification to operate drone delivery unit

UPS has applied to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 135 certification to operate commercial drone flights in the UPS network under a subsidiary business called UPS Flight Forward, Inc. FAA grants the authority to operate on-demand, unscheduled air service via the Part 135 certificate. Air carriers authorized... Read more →