Airbus announced plans for a new CityAirbus at the company’s first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” as the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to firm up. The fully electric vehicle is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its... Read more →


Shell aims to produce ~2M tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year by 2025

Royal Dutch Shell announced its ambition to produce around 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030. Currently, sustainable aviation fuel accounts for less than 0.1% of the... Read more →


Forest products company SCA and St1 have entered a joint venture in Sweden to produce and sell renewable HVO diesel and biojet fuel. SCA will supply tall oil to the joint venture for feedstock and will invest approximately SEK 0.6 billion (US$71.7 million) in the company. SCA and St1 will... Read more →


Air New Zealand and Airbus to look into potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft in shorter domestic flights

Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint research project to better understand the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand. Under the MoU, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen aircraft may have on its... Read more →


Shell to build one of Europe’s biggest biofuels facilities for SAF and renewable diesel; 820,000 tonnes/year

Royal Dutch Shell will build an 820,000-tonnes-a-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery. Once built, the facility will be among the largest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste. Shell expects... Read more →


Solvay adds new thermoplastic composite capacity in the US to meet growing automotive and aerospace demand

Solvay announced the installation completion of its new thermoplastic composites (TPC) manufacturing facility at its Greenville, South Carolina site. At full production capacity, the new line will add more than 30 positions at the 27,000-square-foot facility. The project represents a major milestone in Solvay’s efforts to industrialize its TPC capacity.... Read more →


Those who flew in 2020 had twice the environmental impact of those in 2019

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. The energy intensity of a transportation mode is calculated by dividing the amount of fuel used by the number of passenger miles traveled and converting the result into a common measure—Btu (British thermal units) per passenger mile traveled. Until recently, the energy intensity of... Read more →


DOE awarding nearly $65M for biofuels research to reduce airplane and ship emissions

As part of a White House roundtable to launch the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge to decarbonize the aviation sector by 2050 (earlier post), the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $64.7 million in funding for projects focused on producing cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels. These investments will advance technologies to... Read more →


US launches government-wide Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge; 3B gpy by 2030; 100% of demand by 2050

The Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are launching a government-wide Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to meet the demand for sustainable aviation fuels by working with stakeholders to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and expand production and use of sustainable aviation fuels... Read more →


United, Honeywell invest in Alder Fuels; 1.5-billion-gallon SAF offtake agreement

United and Honeywell announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels—a company that is developing technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When... Read more →


Chevron, Gevo to pursue sustainable aviation fuel investment; inedible corn feedstock

Chevron USA, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Gevo have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to invest jointly in building and operating one or more new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can lower the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in the aviation... Read more →


Safety of flying and driving after the attacks of 9/11 revisited

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In 2003, Michael Flannagan and I published a detailed analysis of the relative safety of flying and driving in the United States. The flying data were for 1992 through 2001, and thus they included the year of the 9/11 attacks. The analysis showed that,... Read more →


Wright Electric has begun testing its 2 MW (~2,700 horsepower) motor for electric and hydrogen aircraft. (Earlier post.) It’s the largest propulsive aerospace motor in existence to the company’s knowledge—about 2x larger than other propulsive motors in testing. Wright’s motor can work in 150+ passenger aircraft in a 10-motor-array format,... Read more →


ZeroAvia places evaluation order for Hyzon Motors’ high power density fuel cell system

Hyzon, a supplier of hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy vehicles, announced that ZeroAvia has placed an order for Hyzon Motors’s next generation, high-performance lightweight fuel cell. ZeroAvia will evaluate the fuel cell for use in its zero-emission aircraft development program, which focuses on hydrogen-electric solutions. ZeroAvia selected Hyzon’s fuel cell stack... Read more →


FAA approves G-1 certification basis for Archer eVTOL; step toward FAA Type Certification

Archer Aviation, a developer of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has been actively engaged with the FAA through its Center for Emerging Concepts & Innovation and the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office to develop the airworthiness and environmental requirements necessary for full certification of its eVTOL aircraft. Archer... Read more →


Chevron, Delta Air Lines, and Google to measure sustainable aviation fuel emissions data

Chevron USA, through its Chevron Products Company division, Delta Air Lines, and Google announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to track sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) test batch emissions data using cloud-based technology. Sustainable aviation fuel is produced from biofeedstocks that can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity significantly when compared to conventional... Read more →


Gevo plans to install alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process pilot unit at Luverne Facility; SAF, renewable premium gasoline

Gevo plans to install an alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process pilot unit at its facility located in Luverne, Minnesota. The pilot unit is being designed to produce market development quantities of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable premium gasoline, other renewable fuel products, as well as provide capability to supply market development quantities of... Read more →


Joby Aviation, Inc. became the first company to fly an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. As part of the two-week test campaign at Joby’s Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, California, NASA and Joby will join forces to... Read more →


Archer Aviation, a developer of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced an agreement with the United States Air Force (USAF) to establish a collaborative strategy to explore the technical readiness and suitability of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft for USAF purposes. As Archer continues its work towards achieving FAA Type... Read more →


Octopus Hydrogen to supply green hydrogen to ZeroAvia for HyFlyer II

Octopus Hydrogen, Octopus Energy Group’s newly established hydrogen arm, will provide 100% green hydrogen to ZeroAvia’s R&D center at Cotswold Airport in the UK during the testing, certification and first commercial operations of its hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain technology. (Earlier post.) ZeroAvia will supplement on-site electrolysis hydrogen production with supply from... Read more →


HyPoint, a company developing turbo air-cooled hydrogen-fuel-cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility, entered into a multi-phase collaborative development agreement with Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC), a pioneer in advanced rotorcraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) platforms and technologies, for the development and certification of a hydrogen fuel cell system... Read more →


A patented process for converting alcohol sourced from renewable or industrial waste gases into jet or diesel fuel is being scaled up at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the help of partners at Oregon State University and the carbon-recycling experts at LanzaTech. A single-step chemical... Read more →


Lilium intends to enter $1B alliance with Azul airlines for electric aviation in Brazil; partnership with CUSTOMCELLS

Lilium GmbH, a developer of regional electric air mobility solutions (earlier post), intends to enter into a $1-billion commercial deal and strategic alliance with Brazilian airline Azul. Lilium plans to work with Azul to transform high-speed regional transportation in a country which sees close to 100 million domestic air passengers... Read more →


After launching the development of its 600 kW hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in 19-seat aircraft late last year (earlier post), ZeroAvia has achieved its first major milestone for the HyFlyer II program. The ground test involved ZeroAvia’s flight-intent 600 kW powertrain (ZA-600), pulling ZeroAvia’s new 15-ton HyperTruck mobile... Read more →


Biofuel and Ag organizations call for accountable life cycle analysis for SAF tax credits, DOE to lead

Growth Energy, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter to the US Senate Committee on Finance and the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means outlining its recommendations for a sound and effective... Read more →


Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power, and AeroTEC set up hydrogen aviation center at Moses Lake, Washington

Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power and AeroTEC have established a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. The center will focus on the test flight and certification of Universal Hydrogen’s retrofit conversion of a Dash-8 regional turboprop aircraft, scheduled for entry into... Read more →


DHL Express has ordered 12 all-electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation. (Earlier post.) Eviation expects to deliver the Alice electric aircraft to DHL Express in 2024. Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lbs). It will require 30 minutes or less to charge... Read more →


Rolls-Royce invests in new test facilities at Purdue for high-altitude and hybrid-electric aircraft engines

Rolls-Royce has launched a new major investment project with Purdue University to develop new test facilities for high-altitude and hybrid-electric engines to power the next generation of US military aircraft. Gas turbine engine test cells must offer flexible operation to qualify engines for customer use. However, true high-altitude test cells... Read more →


Lifecycle study finds pennycress could make a greener bio-jet fuel

A common farm weed could make a jet fuel with fewer production-related environmental impacts than other biofuels, according to a new lifecycle study by researchers at The Ohio State University. Growing the weed, pennycress—often called stinkweed—as a crop requires less fertilizer and fewer pesticides than other plants that can be... Read more →


Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new catalyst for converting ethanol into C3+ olefins—the chemical building blocks for renewable jet fuel and diesel—that pushes selectivity to a record-high 88%, a more than 10% gain over their previously developed catalyst. (Earlier post.) A paper on the new work is... Read more →


LanzaTech Project DRAGON shortlisted for UK funding; ATJ-SPK from waste

LanzaTech UK, among other companies, has been shortlisted for funding through The UK Department for Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies (GSGF) competition to advance the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). (Earlier post.) LanzaTech’s Project DRAGON (Decarbonizing and Reimagining Aviation for the Goal Of Netzero) will undertake the Front-End Engineering... Read more →


Carbon Engineering & LanzaTech partner to produce SAF using direct air capture CO2; “air-to-jet”

LanzaTech UK and direct air capture technology company Carbon Engineering have partnered on a project to create sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Project AtmosFUEL will investigate the feasibility of a large-scale, commercial air-to-jet facility in the UK that will produce more than 100 million liters of... Read more →


UK shortlists 8 projects for £15M for development of sustainable aviation fuel production

The UK Department for Transport has shortlisted 8 industry-led projects to receive a share of £15 million (US$21 million) in the Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition for the development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production plants in the UK. The shortlisted proposals include plants aiming to produce jet fuel... Read more →


FAA approves first high-octane unleaded avgas

General Aviation Modifications, Inc., (GAMI)—a leading general aviation engineering company—announced that the FAA has approved Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) authorizing use of its G100UL high-octane unleaded avgas. GAMI elected to follow the well-established FAA Approved Model List (AML) STC process whereby the FAA issues the initial STCs with an AML... Read more →


The generator that will be at the heart of the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace has arrived for installation at Rolls-Royces’s specialist testbed. PGSy1 The generator and related 3,000-volt power electronics system was delivered to the newly-renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK, from the Rolls-Royce... Read more →


Up-to-date information on the rebound in flying in the United States

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Among the variables included in my ongoing monthly monitoring of key transportation indexes is revenue passenger miles for domestic flying. That monitoring has shown a huge pandemic-related drop in flying during the spring of 2020 and a gradual rebound later in 2020 and in... Read more →


Deutsche Aircraft, the new purpose-driven German aircraft Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) (earlier post), and Universal Hydrogen Co. (earlier post) announced a technical collaboration to complete a design study to incorporate Universal Hydrogen’s modular capsule technology into the Dornier 328 program. The joint effort will analyze the size and integration of... Read more →


Surf Air Mobility Inc., has signed a purchase agreement with Textron Aviation for up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprop aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 100 aircraft and an option for 50 more. The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.,... Read more →


Thirteen companies and one university have signed agreements with NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project’s National Campaign to continue work towards integrating air taxis, cargo delivery aircraft and other new air vehicle concepts into the national airspace system. Joby Aviation’s all-electric prototype. The partners will participate in the first full... Read more →


Universal Hydrogen (earlier post) has signed LOIs with Icelandair Group (Iceland), Air Nostrum (Spain), and Ravn Air (Alaska) for aftermarket conversion of aircraft to hydrogen propulsion and for the supply of green hydrogen fuel using Universal Hydrogen’s modular capsules. Rendering of regional airplane with conversion kit and fuel capsules. Icelandair.... Read more →


CAE, a global leader in aviation training, and urban air mobility (UAM) company Volocopter signed a strategic partnership, subject to definitive agreement, to develop, certify, and deploy an innovative pilot training program for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations. This eVTOL pilot training program will develop the pilot workforce... Read more →


Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ (earlier post) will take to the skies for the first time in the coming weeks as it works towards a world-record attempt with a target speed of 300+ mph (480+ km/h). The current speed record for an all-electric plane—set by Siemens in 2017—is... Read more →


H2FLY, a German start-up developing hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircraft, and Deutsche Aircraft, a new German aircraft manufacturer developing energy-efficient, cost-effective, environmentally-friendly aircraft, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on the research and development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology for commercial regional aircraft. Martin Nüßeler, CTO... Read more →


In Hamburg, a new development platform is being launched to test hydrogen technology in aviation from as early as 2022. Funded by the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Lufthansa Technik will work with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Center for Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL) and Hamburg Airport over the next... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a graphene oxide (GO)/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) aerogel (GPA) weighing just 2.1 kg m-3—making it the lightest sound insulation ever manufactured. Over the 400–2500 Hz range, the reported average sound absorption coefficients are as high as 0.79, while the average sound transmission losses... Read more →


Stakeholders say EU should set ambitious targets for SAF while preserving a level playing field for airlines

The European Commission should set ambitious targets for e-kerosene, a green synthetic fuel, when it proposes the world’s first sustainable jet fuel law this month, environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), Lufthansa, the Global Alliance Powerfuels, pilots’ representatives, and other aviation industry and energy players have said. The group, which... Read more →


ZeroAvia has secured two twin-engine 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft for the next phase of its research and development for clean hydrogen-electric aviation. (Earlier post.) One Dornier is in the UK, the other in the US, provided respectively by Aurigny and AMC Aviation. Both aircraft were previously in service for regional... Read more →


Shell and Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which aims to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry and their progress towards net zero emissions. In recognition of the scale of the challenge, the MoU will expand and accelerate several existing areas of cooperation between the companies such as... Read more →


The EU-funded research project HyFlexFuel recently successfully produced biocrudes via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) from a variety of biomasses, including sewage sludge, food waste, manure, wheat straw, corn stover, pine sawdust, miscanthus and microalgae in a pilot-scale continuous HTL plant at Aarhus University (Denmark). HyFlexFuel, Process overview. Copyright: Bauhaus Luftfahrt Biocrudes... Read more →


Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group & ANRA Technologies partner to develop advanced air mobility air traffic operating environment

The Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group is partnering with ANRA Technologies—a leading international provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned system operators and airspace managers—to begin developing the operating environment for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. This is the first in a... Read more →