Archive for the ‘aerospace’ Category
“The world is becoming more global and more urban, and airports are key to its connective fiber. John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay argue that airports underpin a whole new aerotropolis model for economic development that is reshaping economic growth and development in ways that are similar to what the automobile did in the last century, and railroads and waterways did before that. As I wrote here on Atlantic Cities in May, airports indeed have huge influence on urban economic development: they have similar impacts as that of high-skilled college grads (a factor that economists suggest is central to national as well as urban growth), as well as the even larger impact of the high-tech industry.”
AN : Richard Florida writes deeply on matters related to cities and their growth and liveability. The role that airports play in that civic structure he defines as an aerotopolis. I grew up in Vancouver, whose local International Airport has had a huge impact on the city. Indeed, YVR has been rated as the top North American Airport for three consecutive years now. It is listed as the 9th in the top ten airports in the world :http://www.yvr.ca/en/Airmail-articles/2012-05/Skytrax.aspx
Humanity is inherently social… video conferencing aside…people and their communities will be affected by the access and availability to air travel….
via The Global Gateways That Connect America to the World – Commute – The Atlantic Cities.
“Skydive from space recreated in LEGO
By Jess Zimmerman
We wrote about Felix Baumgartner’s planned freefall from the edge of space last week, but the first attempt ended up being called off due to winds. He pulled it off over the weekend, though, falling for over four minutes and achieving supersonic speed. If you missed the jump, which sponsor Red Bull swears will have scientific validity but which will probably most serve to make people gasp and then feel depressed about the state of our public-sector space program, you can see it recreated at 1 to 350 “
AN : this article from GRIST captures ,with the videos, both the real dive and the unreal dive (LEGO re-creation ). Either way, a superb accomplishment !
via Skydive from space recreated in LEGO | Grist.
Saving lives from space
“From Hurricane Katrina to the Japanese tsunami – satellite images are increasingly playing an important role during rescue efforts after natural or man-made disasters. The images, often taken minutes after devastation has occurred, help pinpoint people and places at risk.A formal system of sharing information by space agencies was agreed in 1999, with the creation of the Disasters Charter. Since then, the charter has helped provide data for more than 300 disasters, in more than 100 countries.Here – to mark World Space Week 2012 – Dr Alice Bunn from the UK Space Agency looks at how the images, taken many hundreds of miles above the planet, are being used to save lives.”
Continue reading the main story & the six minute video with stunning visuals & examples of employment of the satellites under the Disaster Charter mechanism of International collaboration.
via BBC News – Saving lives from space.
United Airlines just announced that Flight 1403, scheduled to take off today, Monday November 7th will be powered by Solazyme’s algae-derived biofuel. This will be the world’s first commercial biofuel powered flight. The flight’s route, from Houston to Chicago, is significant in several ways. First, the departure from Houston can be taken to symbolize a departure from the ”big oil” that Houston has come to represent. Second, it represents a full merging of United and Continental. The flight will be traveling from Continental’s hub in Houston to United’s hub in Chicago. Continental pilots will be manning the cockpit of the United 737-800 Eco-Skies aircraft.The fuel, branded Solafuel, is a 40/60 blend of algae-based fuel and traditional petroleum-based jet fuel that was produced by a partnership between Solazyme and UOP.Back in February, Solazyme announced a partnership with Qantas to provide biofuel to the Australian carrier, but United has beaten them to the punch with the first commercial flight. Solazyme was also the first company to produce an algae-derived jet fuel that met FAA specifications. In what is certain to become a major new industry, a major competitor has emerged in Sapphire Energy, which was named one of the top ten green startups of 2010, receiving more than $100 million in venture capital funding.Other players in this new field that were also spotlighted at last week’s Algal Biofuels Organization ABO Summit in Minneapolis include Phycal, BioProcess Algae, Heliae and Algenol.Two years ago, Continental Airlines launched the first US biofuel test flight, also from Houston, burning a blend of 50 percent standard aviation fuel, 3 percent algae-based fuel from Sapphire also partnering with UOP and 47 percent jatropha oil. A month earlier, Air New Zealand ran a test flight using 50/50 jet fuel and jatropha oil. Some consider jatropha, a tropical succulent, a promising jet fuel alternative, but concerns have been raised about the amount of water required to grow it, which is said to be five times more than corn or sugar cane.Meanwhile, Solazyme is producing not only oil, but also food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Last month they announced an expanded agreement with Unilever to produce algae-derived oils for making soap and other personal care products, presumably, to cut back on the use of palm oil and petroleum-derived components.A week later, their Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals subsidiary announced that it will begin producing its microalgae derived food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour, at Roquette’s commercial production plant in Lestrem, France.Writing about the ABO conference, biofuels analyst Jim Lane says, “It could be that biofuels, renewable chemicals and materials have an overly complicated and wrongly-told story. What investors have been trained to think is that “green” equals “higher costs,” [meaning it] is a luxury, requires subsidies, and is currently unaffordable. Their belief: carbon mitigation is a cost that will be saddled on the hard-pressed and possibly unemployed consumer. They have come to believe that renewables equal subsidies… The message of the industry’s current investors to the world: the military should provide the capital for renewable diesel, that airlines should build out aviation biofuels, that governments need to provide incentives, tax credits, mandates and tariffs for the development at scale of everything else. And that anything not already paid for by any of the above should be paid for by oil companies, who apparently should be delighted at the opportunity to invest in putting themselves out of business.”RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water. Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.
via United Completes First Commercial Biofuel Powered Flight.
Big planes are big business. Innovation and different market needs for paasenger and freight keep this sector of the global economy bouyant.
“Boeing Co. (BA)’s new 747-8 freighter won certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to enter commercial service, capping a two-year, $2.04 billion delay for the company’s biggest plane ever.
Luxembourg’s Cargolux Airlines International SA will receive the first of the jumbo jets early next month, Boeing said today in a statement. The European Aviation Safety Agency also gave its approval to the new plane, Boeing said.”
via Boeing Wins FAA Certification for 747-8 Freighter – Bloomberg.
A further analysis of the development of aviation fuel from renweable sources such as algae. Sustainable aviation fuel can be produced ….scability and affordability are part of the limiting factors. Self – sufficientcy also has to be factored in…national secutrity definitely is an influencing factor.
“Despite the obvious appeal of biofuels for energy security and environmental sustainability, analysts, researchers and even some within the industry remain skeptical that large numbers of passengers will be kept aloft by pond scum and scrub plants anytime soon. Scalability an issue The issue isn’t whether biofuels can power jets – that’s largely been proven.The question is whether biofuels can be produced at a large enough scale to offset petroleum use – some 19 million barrels per day, according to RAND.Yields from camelina, jatropha and other seed oils are so low that they could only provide a fraction of a percent of oil’s production, according to Bartis.”
via High on Pond Scum: When Will Aviation Biofuels Justify the Hype? | Txchnologist.
Aviation biofuel…avant garde and a positive direction in curbing costs and ensuring sustainability.
“But aviation is making an important step in breaking free of its petroleum dependence through biofuel.
The ethanol that is typically used in cars—fuel alcohol refined from grain or sugar cane—would not work in aviation, at least with today’s jet engines, because its energy density (the power it packs per gallon or liter) is too low. But numerous start-up companies around the world have been working with a very different fuel derived from oils that have been extracted from plants, animal fat, or grease. The oils are treated with hydrogen to produce HRJ, synthetic kerosene that is chemically the same as jet fuel. Only carbon dating would reveal that it is not made from fossil fuel.”
via As Jet Fuel Prices Soar, a Green Option Nears the Runway.
June 30, 2011
KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight
By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
“A Boeing 737-800 carrying 171 passengers out of Amsterdam for Paris Wednesday moved KLM to say it was “the first airline in the world” to operate a commercial flight on biokerosene (a used cooking oil, Jet-A mix), with more to come. KLM said that by September, 2011, it will begin 200 more flights, flying the same route, and using the same 50-50 blend of fuel. Details regarding regulatory issues are not yet clear. The biofuel portion of the fuel mixture that KLM used for this latest flight was not derived from the camonila or jatropha plants. (The plants have earned attention for their high oil content and low agricultural impact.) KLM used a cooking-oil-based fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods.”
KLM’s biokerosene was created from non-food grade animal fat supplied as a byproduct of Tyson Food’s meat processing plants. That product was refined into biofuel by dynamic Fuel at that company’s facility in Louisiana. KLM first made a biofuel-powered flight roughly 18 months ago, taking forty VIP’s on a 90-minute flight. That particular trip only fed the biofuel mix to one engine. Virgin Atlantic, Birtish Airways and Continental have all flown commercial airliners fueled, at least in part, with biofuels. European airlines are particularly motivated to find a fossil fuel alternative due to a limit set by the European Union. That limit calls for airlines to cut their carbon emissions by three percent in 2012. The flights show progress for biofuels, but according to KLM managing director Camiel Eurlings, “The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently.” Said Eurlings, “This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition.”
via KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight.
The use of biofuel in aerospace is reaching viability. The ideal situation will be when biofuel feedstock does not have to complete with foodstock.
Honeywell’s biofuel is derived from camelina, a dedicated energy crop that grows in rotation with wheat, which reduces competition with the food market. According to Honeywell, the biofuel offers up to an 85 percent reduction in net emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. Additionally, it is manufactured using the same hydro-processing technology already used for the manufacture of today’s transportation fuels, and can be mixed with petroleum-based fuel. Furthermore, tests have shown that it can be used for military or commercial applications without need for aircraft or engine modification.
The initial technology was driven by a 2007 contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military jet fuel. Honeywell has experimented with biofuels made from camelina, jatropha and algae in sixteen biofuel test flights so far, and have produced more than 700,000 U.S. gallons (264,979 liters) of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel to date. The feedstock for the transatlantic flight was grown and harvested by Sustainable Oils, a U.S.-based producer of camelina-based technology.
via Gulfstream G450 crosses the Atlantic on 50/50 biofuel-jetfuel blend.