Airbus Delivers First Ever A321neo to Virgin America

sustainable aviation

CFM engines boost fuel efficiency by at least 15%

Hamburg, Germany, April 20, 2017: Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo. The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines was handed over to U.S. airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.

“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for the A320neo back in December 2010, we are today delighted to deliver the first A321neo to them,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft. “With our largest, latest, most fuel efficient NEO Single Aisle aircraft we are turning a new page. The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities. Thanks to its cutting edge technologies it is today the most eco-sensitive Single Aisle aircraft available.”

The A320neo significantly reduces noise levels, generating only half the noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. Equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions are 50 percent below regulatory requirements as outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft with LEAP-1A engines is proven to deliver at least a 15% fuel savings compared to Virgin America’s current generation aircraft, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with each plane every year.

“We have been with Virgin America from the beginning and we are excited to launch this new chapter in that relationship,” said Gael Meheust, President and CEO of CFM International. “The LEAP-1A has done extremely well in its first months of commercial service. It is proving unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the level of reliability Virgin America has come to expect from CFM. We think they will be very pleased with all this engine has to offer.”

The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family. It covers the entire market, from high density to long-range thin routes. There are currently over 1,300 units on order.

“We are honored to be the first operator of this high in-demand aircraft,” said Virgin America President Peter Hunt, speaking at the ceremony attended by Virgin America teammates, Executives from Airbus, CFM and the aircraft lessor GECAS. “The new A321neo – the third member of the Airbus A320 Family to join our Virgin America fleet – will allow us to further reduce our unit costs and enable us to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

“Increased operational efficiency, productivity, and state-of-the-art technology — this winning combination makes the A321neo an attractive investment for leasing companies like GECAS who are committed to meeting customers’ operational needs while providing the latest technology and a solid return on investment,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO at GECAS.  “The low operating costs and reliability of the LEAP powered A320neo Family make it a strong asset in GECAS’ portfolio.”

The new A321neo will become the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, featuring 185 seats – a 24 percent higher capacity at same comfort levels than its current A320s. The aircraft is expected to enter service on May 31, 2017 with its inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Virgin America currently operates a fleet of 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft comprised of A319ceo and A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM’s CFM56-5B engines.

As first announced in April 2016, Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Air Group in December 2016.

sustainable aviation

Source: Airbus

First Flight: Airbus A319neo Takes to the Skies

sustainable aviation

Smallest member of the A320neo Family powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines

Hamburg, March 31, 2017: The first Airbus A319neo performed its maiden flight today. The smallest member of the A320neo Family, powered by CFMInternational LEAP-1A engines took off from Hamburg and landed in Toulouse after a 5 hour flight.

It was piloted by Experimental test pilots Michel Gagneux and Eckard Hausser. They were assisted in the cockpit by Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin, while two flight test engineers Sylvie Loisel-Labaste and David O’nions directed the flight from the aircraft’s Test Engineer station.

This flight was the occasion for the crew to assess the general handling of the aircraft and to check the main systems. The A319neo, registered as D-AVWA, will be based in Toulouse in order to complete its flight test program.

The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with over 5,000 orders received from over 90 customers, capturing almost 60 percent share of the market. The A320neo Family incorporates latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020. For the environment, the A320neo’s fuel savings translate into some 5,000 tons fewer CO2 emitted per aircraft annually. Additionally, the A320neo Family provides a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise.

With one aircraft in three sizes (A319neo, A320neo & A321neo), the A320neo Family, seating from 100 to 240 passengers, seamlessly covers the entire single-aisle segment from low to high-density domestic to longer range routes.

The A319neo is the smallest member of the A320neo Family; it offers its operators superior short field performance in hot and high conditions. It can accommodate up to 160 passengers without compromise on the comfort.

sustainable aviation

The first Airbus A319neo took off from Hamburg and landed in Toulouse after a 5 hour flight
Photo: Airbus

Source: Airbus

Heathrow to Reduce Freight Emissions

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

New Tool to share information about any spare capacity

Heathrow, March 16, 2016: Heathrow revealed new plans for a WebPortal aimed at consolidating freight loads, and decreasing the amount of trucks and emissions on roads around the airport. Encouraging freight company partners to operate sustainably is one of ten priorities Heathrow has outlined for this year in its new Blueprint to Reduce Emissions, also launched today.

Incorporating sustainability into freight is a priority for Heathrow given the impact these operations have on the airport’s local environment. Heathrow is the largest freight port by value in the UK, handling over 1.5 million tons of cargo a year. This activity also generates a substantive amount of vehicle movements a day in the Heathrow area for servicing, deliveries and cargo operations, along with their related emissions.

Heathrow’s proposed WebPortal would be the UK’s first geographically specific system of its kind.  Subscribed members would exchange and share information about any spare capacity on their vehicles. Once a match has been found, operators could then negotiate a price for this space amongst themselves.

This Portal, along with measures like providing an off-airport distribution centre, increased monitoring of the use of local roads by freight vehicles, and tighter rules on vehicle licensing will ensure the number of freight vehicles will be maintained at similar levels to today’s in the future and that the lowest emission freight vehicles are encouraged to operate around Heathrow.

By collaborating with stakeholders across London, emissions of NOx from the airport have reduced by 16% over 5 years.

Source: Heathrow Airport

Heathrow: Air Quality is No “Show-Stopper”

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Independent research confirms that local road vehicles are the principal contributors of air pollution

Heathrow, March 7, 2016: The Heathrow Airport management welcomed the Independent Transport Commission’s (ITC) report “The Sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions.” The report’s conclusions are unequivocal: environmental conditions are not a show-stopper to pursue airport expansion, including at Heathrow, given rapid technology improvements over the last 30 years which have reduced the British aviation industry’s impacts.

The report, written by independent sustainability experts Peter Hind and RDC Aviation Ltd, confirms that road vehicles are the principal contributors of air pollution: NOX and particulate emissions. This is verified by data gathered by air quality monitors around Heathrow airport, which show annual breaches of EU limits in two locations beside major road junctions, where airport-related emissions contribute less than 16% to the total.

The ITC report also highlights Heathrow’s strong record in providing alternative modes of transport for passengers going to the airport.  Over the last 20 years, Heathrow’s passenger numbers have risen by almost 80% but airport related road traffic has remained broadly static. New public transport infrastructure such as Crossrail, HS2, Western Rail Access, Southern Rail Access and upgrades to the Piccadilly Line will treble Heathrow’s rail capacity by 2040 and enable 30 million more passengers to use public transport.  This, along with measures to encourage sustainable transport by employees, makes it possible to deliver an additional runway without increasing airport-related traffic on the road.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability: “Heathrow takes air quality issues seriously. This report adds to the evidence presented by the Airports Commission that road traffic is the main contributor to poor air quality and it is a national problem which needs government action. Heathrow has worked to maintain airport-related traffic broadly static since the 1990’s and is  taking action to reduce emissions further by switching to electric vehicles and increasing public transport options for passengers and colleagues. Heathrow has called for local and national partners to work together on a plan to reduce the impact of non-airport related vehicles, which are the major source of local air pollution.  The huge benefits of additional capacity at our airport need not come at the expense of the environment – Heathrow expansion can deliver for both.”

Source: Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Pledges to “Go Electric”

Heathrow Pledges to “Go Electric” with £2 Million Boost for Vehicle Chargers

Even more ambitious plans to be environmentally responsible

Heathrow, January 4, 2016: The go-ahead to install over 135 more chargers for at least another 260 electric vehicles has been given today at Heathrow to help shift greater numbers of vehicles used on and around the airport to electric power and it signals a greater ambition to ‘turn Heathrow electric’.

This new commitment complies with the three blueprints published in the past year. These documents set out a series of action plans and milestones for how the airport will reduce noise, emissions and road traffic and help to make Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport.

Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye: “2015 saw us commit to a series of action plans that will make us a better neighbour, by reducing noise, emissions and traffic. Today we are providing an update on the very significant progress already being made, thanks to the commitment of the airport community. But we know that we need to do more, and in the coming months will set out even more ambitious plans that will make an expanded Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world.”

The reports provide a traffic-light rating – Red, Amber, Green – against each of the commitments published in the blueprints along with a supporting commentary. They show that 70% of the promises have been put into action and the remaining 30% are in progress with none not started. Highlights of the commitments include:

Reducing noise

  • The Airbus A320 family of aircraft currently make up about 50% of all traffic movements at Heathrow. Low-noise technology is currently fitted onto only a small proportion of the Airbus A320 fleet, representing about 5% of air traffic movements. But in the next 18 months, retrofitting will be accelerated considerably by airlines, thus reducing noise significantly
  • In 2016 we will work with NATS to set a target for meeting first preference runways during night time alternation in order to offer more predictable respite to local people – currently first preference runways are utilized 50% of the time, but this could be increased greatly to make respite more predictable, especially between 4.30 and 6am.
  • Penalties on airlines using older, noisier aircraft are working – Heathrow is on track to become the first large European airport to be free of the oldest and noisiest classification of aircraft – known as ‘Chapter 3’.
  • The latest Fly Quiet Programme League – which ranks airlines according to their noise performance shows a clear upward trend over the last two years in airlines’ use of the quiet flight procedure Continuous Descent Approach (CDA).  This arrival procedure requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer, helping to reduce noise. Since the launch of the Fly Quiet League, Polish operator LOT has almost doubled its use of CDA to 98 per cent. From July to September this year, 258 out of 263 LOT arrivals used this quieter approach into Heathrow. This dramatic improvement is due in large part to Heathrow’s collaborative approach to working with its airlines to encourage them to reduce their impacts on local communities.
  • Disrupted schedule flights that take-off late – after 11.30pm at night – have almost halved in number (267 flights left late in the eight summer months from March to 31 October 2015, compared to 414 over the same period in 2014) and the trend is set to continue
  • Heathrow provided funding for five local schools to install ‘adobe domes’ – special outdoor constructions that protect pupils and teachers from noise outdoors – seven more will be funded in 2016

Reducing emissions

  • Environmental landing charges for airlines will double from January 2017 – from £8.57 per kg of NOx emitted to £16.51 per kg – providing another incentive to use cleaner aircraft
  • Heathrow will invest £16.2m in 2016 to upgrade and extend coverage of pre-conditioned air units and electric power provision at gates to reduce aircraft emissions on parking stands
  • High level talks between Heathrow and major airlines that will see an early phase-out of older aircraft that don’t meet the international emissions standard (ICAO CAEP) will continue in 2016, complementing existing financial incentives for the best international emissions standard aircraft
  • Monitoring of reduced-engine taxiing by departing aircraft was introduced, with 25% of eligible departures reporting reduced-engine using in taxiing, so reducing on-airfield emissions.
  • 21 electric vehicle chargers are available now to passengers in short-stay car parks free of charge, a publically-accessible hydrogen refuelling station is also based at Heathrow and zero-emission vehicles are already being added to its fleet of 400 vehicles, supported by a £250,000 investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure during 2015.

Reducing road traffic

  • Road traffic to the airport has remained static whilst overall passenger numbers have increased. In 1991 40.5 million passengers created a total of 45.4 million car trips but in 2014, passenger numbers totalled 73.4 million creating 46.7 million car trips that year
  • A new dedicated App providing real-time public transport and traffic information for passengers travelling on from Heathrow will be launched in 2016
  • Heathrow Express introduced a range of new products in 2015 to make it more competitive and to attract families, for example cheaper advance tickets from £6.99 are now available online and under-16 year olds travel free. More ticket offers can be expected in 2016.
  • A new £1 million local transport fund was created by Heathrow to develop and deliver local authority transport projects to reduce congestion – such as supporting bus routes
  • 76,000 people work at the airport – it is the UK’s largest single site employer – and it already has the UK’s largest car-share network but Heathrow will launch a new app for employees to make it even easier to car share in 2016
  • Heathrow colleagues will see new initiatives to encourage them to move to more sustainable transport modes of travel to work rolled-out in 2016
  • New 24-hour bus services for Heathrow from the west began in 2015 providing alternatives to local car travel for employees in addition to the UK’s first free public transport zone (free buses) for an airport
  • A new cycle plan developed with Sustrans to transform the experience for cyclists at the airport will be launched in the New Year. 16,500 people who work at Heathrow live within 5km of the airport. A new ‘cycle hub’ at Heathrow providing bikes and equipment for hire and sale was opened earlier in 2015.
ElectrHeathrow's CEO John Holland-Kaye in an electric caric

Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye in an electric car

Source: Heathrow Airport

 

Economics of Biofuels

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

U. S. Policy Paper of the National Center for Environmental Economics NCEE

 

Washington, D.C.: Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels—fuels produced from renewable organic material—has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers. Demand for biofuels could also increase farm income. On the other hand, because many biofuel feedstocks require land, water, and other resources, research suggests that biofuel production may give rise to several undesirable effects. Potential drawbacks include changes to land use patterns that may increase GHG emissions, pressure on water resources, air and water pollution, and increased food costs. Depending on the feedstock and production process and time horizon of the analysis, biofuels can emit even more GHGs than some fossil fuels on an energy-equivalent basis. Biofuels also tend to require subsidies and other market interventions to compete economically with fossil fuels, which creates deadweight losses in the economy.

Background

  • First generation biofuels are made from sugar crops (sugarcane, sugarbeet), starch crops (corn, sorghum), oilseed crops (soybean, canola), and animal fats. Sugar and starch crops are converted through a fermentation process to form bioalcohols, including ethanol, butanol, and propanol. Oils and animal fats can be processed into biodiesel. Ethanol is the most widely used bioalcohol fuel. Most vehicles can use gasoline-ethanol blends containing up to 10 percent ethanol (by volume). Flexible fuel vehicles can use E85, a gasoline-ethanol blend containing up to 85 percent ethanol. There were more than 2300 E85 fueling stations located throughout the US in 2013 (US Department of Energy).
  • Second generation biofuels, or cellulosic biofuels, are made from cellulose, which is available from non-food crops and waste biomass such as corn stover, corncobs, straw, wood, and wood byproducts. Third generation biofuels use algae as a feedstock. Commercial cellulosic biofuel production began in the US in 2013, while algae biofuels are not yet produced commercially.

Potential Economic Benefits of Biofuel Production

Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels has the potential to generate a number of benefits. In contrast to fossil fuels, which are exhaustible resources, biofuels are produced from renewable feedstocks. Thus, their production and use could, in theory, be sustained indefinitely.

While the production of biofuels results in GHG emissions at several stages of the process, EPA’s (2010) analysis of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) projected that several types of biofuels could yield lower lifecycle GHG emissions than gasoline over a 30 year time horizon. Academic studies using other economic models have also found that biofuels can lead to reductions in lifecycle GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels (Hertel et al. 2010, Huang et al. 2013).

  • Second and third generation biofuels have significant potential to reduce GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels because feedstocks can be produced using marginal land. Moreover, in the case of waste biomass, no additional agricultural production is required, and indirect market-mediated GHG emissions can be minimal if the wastes have no other productive uses.

Biofuels can be produced domestically, which could lead to lower fossil fuel imports (Huang et al. 2013). If biofuel production and use reduces our consumption of imported fossil fuels, we may become less vulnerable to the adverse impacts of supply disruptions (US EPA 2010). Reducing our demand for petroleum could also reduce its price, generating economic benefits for American consumers, but also potentially increasing petroleum consumption abroad (Huang et al. 2013).

Biofuels may reduce some pollutant emissions. Ethanol, in particular, can ensure complete combustion, reducing carbon monoxide emissions (US EPA 2010).

It is important to note that biofuel production and consumption, in and of itself, will not reduce GHG or conventional pollutant emissions, lessen petroleum imports, or alleviate pressure on exhaustible resources. Biofuel production and use must coincide with reductions in the production and use of fossil fuels for these benefits to accrue. These benefits would be mitigated if biofuel emissions and resource demands augment, rather than displace, those of fossil fuels.

Potential Economic Disbenefits and Impacts of Biofuel Production

Biofuel feedstocks include many crops that would otherwise be used for human consumption directly, or indirectly as animal feed. Diverting these crops to biofuels may lead to more land area devoted to agriculture, increased use of polluting inputs, and higher food prices. Cellulosic feedstocks can also compete for resources (land, water, fertilizer, etc.) that could otherwise be devoted to food production. As a result, some research suggests that biofuel production may give rise to several undesirable developments.

Changes in land use patterns may increase GHG emissions by releasing terrestrial carbon stocks to the atmosphere (Searchinger et al. 2008). Biofuel feedstocks grown on land cleared from tropical forests, such as soybeans in the Amazon and oil palm in Southeast Asia, generate particularly high GHG emissions (Fargione et al. 2008). Even use of cellulosic feedstocks can spur higher crop prices that encourage the expansion of agriculture into undeveloped land, leading to GHG emissions and biodiversity losses (Melillo et al. 2009).

Biofuel production and processing practices can also release GHGs. Fertilizer application releases nitrous oxide (NOX), a potent greenhouse gas. Most biorefineries operate using fossil fuels. Some research suggests that GHG emissions resulting from biofuel production and use, including those from indirect land use change, may be higher than those generated by fossil fuels, depending on the time horizon of the analysis (Melillo et al. 2009, Mosnier et al. 2013).

Regarding non-GHG environmental impacts, research suggests that production of biofuel feedstocks, particularly food crops like corn and soy, could increase water pollution from nutrients, pesticides, and sediment (NRC 2011). Increases in irrigation and ethanol refining could deplete aquifers (NRC 2011). Air quality could also decline in some regions if the impact of biofuels on tailpipe emissions plus the additional emissions generated at biorefineries increases net conventional air pollution (NRC 2011).

Economic models show that biofuel use can result in higher crop prices, though the range of estimates in the literature is wide. For example, a 2013 study found projections for the effect of biofuels on corn prices in 2015 ranging from a 5 to a 53 percent increase (Zhang et al. 2013). The National Research Council’s (2011) report on the RFS included several studies finding a 20 to 40 percent increase in corn prices from biofuels during 2007 to 2009. An NCEE working paper found a 2 to 3 percent increase in long-run corn prices for each billion gallon increase in corn ethanol production on average across 19 studies (Condon et al. 2013). Higher crop prices lead to higher food prices, though impacts on retail food in the US are expected to be small (NRC 2011). Higher crop prices may lead to higher rates of malnutrition in developing countries (Rosegrant et al. 2008, Fischer et al. 2009).

U.S. Policy Approaches to Support Biofuel Production

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 used a variety of economic incentives, including grants, income tax credits, subsidies and loans to promote biofuel research and development. It established a Renewable Fuel Standard mandating the blending of 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels with gasoline annually by 2012.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) (PDF, 310 pp., 828K, About PDF) included similar economic incentives. EISA expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard to increase biofuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Of the latter goal, 21 billion gallons must come from cellulosic biofuel or advanced biofuels derived from feedstocks other than cornstarch. To limit GHG emissions, the Act states that conventional renewable fuels (corn starch ethanol) are required to reduce life-cycle GHG emissions relative to life-cycle emissions from fossil fuels by at least 20 percent, biodiesel and advanced biofuels must reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent, and cellulosic biofuels must reduce emissions by 60 percent. EISA also provides cash awards, grants, subsidies, and loans for research and development, biorefineries that displace more than 80 percent of fossil fuels used to operate the refinery, and commercial applications of cellulosic biofuel.

In addition to EISA, numerous other policies have encouraged the production and use of biofuels in the US in recent decades. Tax credits currently support advanced biofuels, including cellulosic and biodiesel.

References

Condon, N., H. Klemick, and A .Wolverton. 2013. “Impacts of Ethanol Policy on Corn Prices: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Recent Evidence.” NCEE Working Paper 2013-05. http://yosemite.epa.gov/EE/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2013-05?OpenDocument (Accessed Sept. 12, 2013)

Hertel, T., A. Golub, A. Jones, M. O’Hare, R. Plevin, and D. Kammen. 2010. “Effects of US Maize Ethanol on Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Estimating Market-mediated Responses.” BioScience 60: 223–231.

Fargione, J., et al. 2008. “Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt.” Science 319: 1235–1238.

Fischer, G., E. Hizsnyik, S. Prieler, M. Shah, and H. van Velthuizen. 2009. Biofuels and Food Security. OPEC Fund for International Development.

Huang, H., M. Khanna, H. Onal, and X. Chen. 2013. “Stacking low carbon policies on the renewable fuels standard: Economic and greenhouse gas implications.” Energy Policy 56 (May 2013): 5-15.

Melillo, J., J. Reilly, D. Kickligher, A. Gurgel, T. Cronin, S. Paltsev, B. Felzer, X. Wang, A. Sokolov, and C.A. Schlosser. 2009. “Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?” Science 326 (5958): 1397-1399.

Mosnier, A. P. Havlik, H. Valin, J. Baker, B. Murray, S. Feng, M. Obersteiner, B. McCarl, S. Rose, and U. Schneider. 2013. “The Net Global Effects of Alternative U.S. Biofuel Mandates: Fossil Fuel Displacement, Indirect Land Use Change, and the Role of Agricultural Productivity Growth.” Energy Policy 57 (June 2013): 602-614.

National Research Council. 2011. Committee on Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Rosegrant, M.W, T. Zhu, S. Msangi, T. Sulser. 2008. “Global Scenarios for Biofuels. Impacts and Implications.” Review of Agricultural Economics, 30(3), 495-505.

Searchinger, T., et al. 2008. “Use of US croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change.” Science 319: 1238-1240.

US Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center. Ethanol Fueling Station Locations. http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_locations.html (Accessed Sept. 10, 2013)

US Environmental Protection Agency. 2010. Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) Regulatory Impact Analysis. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/420r10006.pdf (PDF) (Accessed Sept. 10, 2013).

Zhang, W., E. Yu, S. Rozelle, J. Yang, and S. Msangi. 2013. “The impact of biofuel growth on agriculture: Why is the range of estimates so wide?” Food Policy 38: 227–239.

For further information, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/EE%5Cepa%5Ceed.nsf/webpages/Biofuels.html

Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with Diesel-powered H120 Helicopter

High-compression engine for cleaner, more efficient and higher-performance rotorcraft

Marignane, France, November 10, 2015: Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed the first flight test of the high-compression engine demonstrator aircraft at around 3pm on Friday, November 6th, at Marignane Airport. The development and flight test of this new technology demonstrator is part of the European Clean Sky initiative’s Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) program, with support for these flight tests provided by the consortium of TEOS Powertrain Engineering and Austro Engine GmbH.

“The first result of the 30 minutes flight confirms the advantages of new-technology high-compression piston engines for rotorcraft in offering reduced emissions; up to 50% lower fuel consumption depending on duty cycle, nearly doubled range and enhanced operations in hot and high conditions”, said Tomasz Krysinski, Head of Research and Innovation at Airbus Helicopters.

In addition to confirming improvements in eco-efficiency, Airbus Helicopters’ in-flight evaluations in the upcoming months will also focus on the right power-to-weight ratios that would make high-compression engines sustainable alternatives to the turbine powerplants typically used in the helicopter industry. The flight test campaign will enable to establish the engine installation at Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6).

Integrated into an H120, the 4.6-liter high-compression piston engine incorporates numerous technologies already applied on advanced self-ignition engines, and runs on the widely-available kerosene fuel used in aviation engines. Its V8 design has the two sets of cylinders oriented at a 90 deg. angle to each other, with a high-pressure (1800 bar) common-rail direct injection and one turbocharger per cylinder bank.

Other features include fully-machined aluminum blocks and titanium connecting rods, pistons and liners made of steel, liquid-cooling and a dry sump management method for the lubricating motor oil as used on aerobatic aircraft and race cars.

The Green Rotorcraft ITD program that supported Airbus Helicopters’ research project is part of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, which is Europe’s most ambitious aeronautical research program ever. Clean Sky’s goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that significantly increase environmental performance of the air transport sector, resulting in quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft and rotorcraft. Environmental targets of Clean Sky are to reduce specific fuel consumption by 30 percent, CO2 emissions by 40 percent and NOx by 53 percent.

Airbus Helicopters’ high-compression piston engine activity began in 2011, followed by company bench tests and system simulations, including Iron Bird successful tests in February 2014. Ground runs with the H120-equipped helicopter were performed during February and March of this year, leading to the first flight.

Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with Diesel-powered H120 Helicopter

Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with Diesel-powered H120 Helicopter

About Airbus Helicopters: Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.

Source: Airbus Helicopters

airBaltic First CS300-Operator

Less Noise and Emissions

Bombardier: airBaltic First CS300-Operator

Montréal, November 8, 2015: Bombardier Commercial Aircraft confirmed that Riga, Latvia-based Air Baltic Corporation AS (airBaltic) will be the first customer to operate the CS300 aircraft when it takes delivery in the second half of 2016.  The Latvian flag carrier has 13 CS300 aircraft on firm order and retains options for seven CS300 aircraft.

“Bombardier’s CS300 airliners are integral to the execution of airBaltic’s business development strategy and fleet optimization plan.  As the airline increases its network potential, we will do so by replacing older jet aircraft,” said Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer, airBaltic.  “The CS300 aircraft has exceeded our expectations in terms of its noise and emissions footprint, aligned with airBaltic’s low environmental impact vision.  Additionally, it will offer airBaltic passengers a widebody, unparalleled in-flight passenger experience, perfectly complementing our modern fleet of 12 Bombardier Q400 turboprops.”

“We are thrilled to confirm that airBaltic will be the first airline in the world to operate the CS300 aircraft.  As one of Europe’s leading innovative airlines, airBaltic is successfully reshaping its business plan and expanding network capacities on the backbone of the C Series aircraft – which will provide the perfect fusion of performance, technology and comfort,”  said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The unrivaled cabin living space offered by the CS300 aircraft will allow airBaltic to optimize its extra capacity seating offerings without comprising passenger comfort, together with world-class flying experience”.

About airBaltic: Established in 1995, airBaltic is the main carrier in the Baltic region and operates direct flights out of Riga, Latvia and serves 60 destinations spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East with a fleet of 25 aircraft.

About C Series Aircraft: The C Series family of aircraft is a 100 per cent all-new design that offers operators potential savings of between US$ 7.5 to 12 million per aircraft. By focusing on the 100- to 150-seat market segment, Bombardier has designed the C Series aircraft to deliver unparalleled economic advantage to operators and to open up new opportunities for single-aisle aircraft operations. All noise performance testing on the CS100 aircraft has been completed and data confirms it is the quietest in-production commercial jet in its class. The aircraft’s noise performance and its outstanding short-field capability make it ideal for varied types of operations. The C Series aircraft’s maximum range has also been confirmed to be up to 3,300 NM (6,112 km), some 350 NM (648 km) more than originally targeted.

The aircraft is delivering more than a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage compared to in-production aircraft, and a greater than 10 per cent advantage compared to re-engined aircraft. The C Series aircraft will also emit 50 per cent fewer NOX emissions than the CAEP 6* NOX emission standards.

In addition to delivering best-in-class economics with the C Series aircraft, Bombardier has placed considerable emphasis on cabin design to ensure an excellent passenger experience. The C Series aircraft’s larger seats, overhead bins and windows create a widebody feel that offers passengers unparalleled comfort.

airbaltic

The CS100 and CS300 aircraft have over 95 per cent parts commonality, as well as the same type rating. The groundbreaking Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G engine, combined with advanced aerodynamics, delivers reduced fuel burn, noise and emissions (CO2), increasing the aircraft’s environmental and social compatibility. Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 603 C Series aircraft, which include firm orders for 243.

Source: Bombardier Commercial Aircraft

Fewer NOX Emissions

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

GE Aviation rolls out its 1,000th GEnx engine

Evendale, OH, October 21: GE Aviation assembled the 1,000th GEnx engine, just a mere five years after the first production engine was built at GE’s Durham, North Carolina. “The GEnx was the fastest selling engine in GE’s history, and now it is the fastest production ramp up of a GE widebody engine program,” said Tom Levin, general manager of the GEnx/CF6 engine product lines at GE Aviation. “GEnx engines are powering the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 aircraft for more than 40 customers, and more orders are anticipated for many years to come. The GEnx engine has proven itself with outstanding performance and reliability.”

Based on proven GE90 architecture, the GEnx engine will offer up to 15% improved fuel efficiency and 15% less CO2 compared to GE’s CF6 engine. The GEnx engine represents a giant leap forward in propulsion technology, using the latest materials and design processes to reduce weight, improve performance and deliver a more fuel-efficient commercial aircraft engine.

After introducing composite fan blades on the GE90 engine in 1995, GE Aviation is taking the technology to a new level with the GEnx. The carbon-fiber composite fan blades on the GE9X engine feature a new, more efficient design, a reduced blade count (from 22 to 18 fan blades) and a composite fan case for further weight reduction.

The first GEnx engine entered service on a Boeing 747-8 aircraft in 2011, and the engine program has accumulated five million flight hours and 900,000 cycles.

Of the engines that currently power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the GEnx-1B engine has set itself apart in the following areas:

  • Leading engine of choice for Boeing 787 with more than a 60 percent win rate.
  • Best fuel burn: The GEnx-1B engine has a 2.3 percent fuel burn advantage for typical Boeing 787 stage lengths, and this advantage increases further for longer range missions.
  • Highest reliability with a 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate and a 25 percent lower engine removal rate than the competition.
  • Fewer NOx emissions: NOx emissions are as much as 55 percent below today’s regulatory limit and other regulated gases are as much as 90 percent below today’s limit.

GE is also looking at possible technology enhancements to ensure the GEnx engine remains a leader in its class. This year, testing took place on a GEnx demonstrator engine that contained lightweight, heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components along with next-generation high pressure turbine blades with advance cooling technology. The demonstrator engine is part of the technology maturation program for the GE9x engine and successfully completed 2,800 cycles.

“As we look to the future, we are committed to making sure the GEnx retains its leadership position and continues its exceptional performance,” said Levin.

The GEnx engine family is the fastest-selling engine in GE Aviation history with about 1,600 engines on order. GEnx revenue-sharing participants are IHI Corporation of Japan, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems of the United Kingdom, MTU of Germany, TechSpace Aero of Belgium, Snecma (SAFRAN Group) of France and Hanwha Techwin Inc. of Korea.

The GEnx engine is part of GE’s “ecomagination” product portfolio—GE’s commitment to implementing innovative, cost-effective technologies that enhance the customers’ environmental and operating performance.

About GE Aviation: GE Aviation is an operating unit of GE, and a world-leading provider of jet engines, components, avionics, digital and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. GE’s fuel management and RNP services are ecomagination qualified products.

Source: GE Aviation