Wednesday - Jul 26, 2017

KLM takes their longest flight to date powered by sustainable jet fuel


KLM takes their longest flight to date powered by sustainable jet fuel

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently completed their longest flight to date partially powered by sustainable jet fuel.

The flight from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba was more than 10 hours long, with 20% of the fuel powering the aircraft, an Airbus A330-200, being a blend of sustainable fuel made from reconstituted cooking oil.

Airbus worked in conjunction with KLM to test the advantages and disadvantages of using sustainable jet fuel, gathering data before, during and after the flight, with particular attention being payed to the behavior of the aircraft engine’s fuel system, engine performance analysis, as well as a number of other Airbus’s major operating systems in order to gain valuable insights into the use of non-petroleum based fuels when compared to considerably more expensive traditional fuels.

This form of maiden voyage into the world of sustainable jet fuel flights will be the first of a planned series expected to reach around twenty long-haul commercial flights, all of them using Airbus aircraft, as part of a European-based project entitled Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation, or ITAKA for short which has been established to follow the goals of the commercial use of aviation biofuels in Europe.

With principal funding coming from the European Union, ITAKA is a collaborative project among the continent’s main airline operators, as well as those involved in the development of sustainable aviation fuel. The ITAKA will also attempt to provide accurate projections of estimated future supply and demand through establishing and maintaining relationships among feedstock growers and producers, biofuel producers, distributors and the major airlines who are liable to be interested in adapting their platitudes a few.

After the hearing vast limestone successfully at Aruba, Andrea Debbané Vice President of Environment Affairs for Airbus stated that in the company’s role as Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturer, “we see our company’s participation in the ITAKA initiative with KLM, using an A330-200 regarded as being in the world the most fuel efficient aircraft in its particular category, as providing a major catalyst in the commercialization of sustainable jet fuels”. “We are very happy to have the full support of the European Union in the ITAKA project, supporting the aviation industry’s initiative to develop sustainable biofuels for aviation”, Mr. Debanné went on to add.

As well as the ITAKA initiative, Airbus is also involved in a number of other major EU funded projects, each of them designed to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of aviation. Among these projects are the Single European Sky (SES) and SESAR projects, geared towards revamping the European Air Traffic Management System, as well as CleanSky, which aims to accelerate the introduction of a number of technological breakthrough developments to European airlines.

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