Who is going to win this battle and are Boeing bluffing targeting 2050 and can Airbus guarantee a safe aircraft with zero emissions by 2035? Someone is going to win this race and have no clue as yet but what I have read it would have to be Airbus right now.
I have often wondered what the aircraft manufacturers are up to as we have seen advancements in technology with land and sea transport, but very little evidence in the skies above us. Things are happening and there is a technology battle going on between the two heavyweights of the airline industry. It is a fascinating read as each manufacture is on a different project and one is going to come out tops.
Last year Boeing teamed up with Etihad as their eco demonstrator partner. This year it is Air Alaska and besides their anti bug paint and navigation light on the side of the aircraft to help prevent collisions they are falling behind.
Boeing have had their eco demonstartor plane running with various airlines since 2012 collecting data. Fuel efficient engines were the first task along with making the building materials of the aircraft lighter and greener. testing takes time but after 9 years we have more fuel efficient engines using the same fuels pus a reduction in noise pollution. This is progress, but the plan is just too long winded.
All great things yes but everybody wants to see what you are doing with the engines.
Two weeks ago a flight from Heathrow flew to Scotland using a 65%/35% mixture with normal aviation fuel diluted with a synthetic aviation fuel supplement. The target currently is to have a clean flight by the year 2050 with zero carbon emissions which lets be frank is not exactly pushing the boat out. I read that and chuckled as we are talking another 28 years away and it is like this generation is kind of passing the buck. If the car industry can change along with shipping then the airlines have to as well.
Special paint so that bugs don't stick to the body of the plane. They say it could create drag and burn more fuel. I am not trying to be funny as this is what the scientists are playing at.
Boeings Eco demonstrator that flew from Heathrow,London to Scotland last month doing tests.
The report of the flight was actually quite amusing as they managed to save 20% carbon emissions in total but cheated. Cheated in the sense they taxied to the runway using one engine and then ensured special clearance with no waiting time behind any other planes. On route to Scotland they received preferential treatment without having to bank around the airport and came in first time. That is not normal and kind of offsets what the fuel was meant to be doing giving a proper reading on a normal flight. Personally I would say they haven't achieved much and are kidding themselves as that is no normal flight.
Etihad has been conducting tests with aviation and synthetic aviation fuel for the past year, but are not allowed to go beyond the 65/35 mix due to specifications laid down by the aviation authorities.
I wrote a post the other day regarding the shipping industry and they expect to be close to zero carbon emissions by 2030 yet the one airline thinks it is ok to add another 20 years to that number. I say that airline meaning Boeing as Airbus are not thinking like that at all.
The same week Boeing were flying to Scotland on their ticking boxes and slapping each other on the backs flight Airbus were making bigger moves. They are not looking at aviation fuel diluted with SAF (synthetic) but Hydrogen. Airbus, Air Liquide and Vinci Airports have signed a partnership which is now going to roll out in phases. Vinci Airports is an ideal partner as they own 45 airports in 12 countries around the world and is a good starting point.
Lyon-Saint Exupéry (France) is the first airport to have it's hydrogen installations fitted in 2023. This is to service the airport and for fueling the planes. This installation is going to be first used to fuel every vehicle at the airport and make this a hydrogen hub or zone. Airbus reckon by 2030 they will have sufficient hydrogen tanks in place and the technology to safely run aircraft on hydrogen.
Amazing how we are going back to hydrogen after what had happened previously. Technology and storage techniques will have improved immensely so there should be no worries.
Air Liquide is a hydrogen specialist and getting in early helping build the infrastructure makes business sense. Of course they would like to be supplying fuel to the aviation sector so they are going to make sure this works. After the French airport is up and running as their test site all the other Vinci sites in Europe will follow.
Blended Wing Concept.
Airbus and Air New Zealand have signed an agreement in a joint study what needs to change to convert all of New Zealand's airports and planes over to Hydrogen. Airbus have already announced the plan is to have a hydrogen powered plane by 2035 in production. They have 3 concepts being a turboprop, turbofan and blended wing option which means they are already working on this. No one starts putting in installations at airports if they aren't sure it will work.
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