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Air Tanzania signs a 5 years IFE contract with Inflight Dublin.

  • Air Tanzania has signed the contract for 5 years
  • This new IFE offering will be available onboard Air Tanzania’s fleet from June 2018.


Inflight Dublin, the global IFE and wireless provider, has recently signed a contract with Air Tanzania to provide the latest content offering onboard its new fleet. This new content agreement includes the latest Hollywood movies, international and local titles, classic TV shows, broad audio selection and a range of broadcast shows. 

All content will be streamed via embedded Panasonic EX3 systems, which will certainly elevate inflight service. Inflight Dublin will provide additional audio services such as pre-recorded announcements and boarding music.

Air Tanzania has signed the contract for 5 years with an aim to significantly improve the airline’s passenger experience by offering IFE.
“This new content services agreement represents exciting inflight entertainment growth opportunities for Air Tanzania and a commitment to provide the best travel experience for our passengers,” said Ladislaus Matindi, Air Tanzania’s CEO and Managing Director. “We are delighted to launch these new services in our fleet, which is now poised to provide the very latest movies, television and audio programming on regional and international flights.”
John White, Infight’s Dublin CEO adds:
“Our cooperation with Air Tanzania improves how its passengers enjoy the airline’s inflight service. As the flag carrier of Tanzania, the airline is committed to driving the nation’s aviation industry by adhering to the latest IFE trends. We are pleased to be part of their long-term plan.”

This new IFE offering will be available onboard Air Tanzania’s fleet from June 2018.




Air Tanzania goes for Hitit reservation ticketing system.

Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) has ordered a $67,000 (Sh147 million) reservation ticketing system from Turkey.



The system installation aims to help the company avoid irregularities in ticket sales and improve services to customers, according to ATCL managing director Ladislaus Matindi.
"We signed a contract with an Istanbul-based Hitit Solutions Company over the past two weeks to offer the service. Training on the use of technology has started."
The system was expected to become operational next month.
He hopes the technology will leverage in tracing what happens in ticket sales, hence providing no chance for irregularities as it used to be.
Works, Transport and Communications minister Makame Mbarawa last year suspended ATCL finance manager Stephen Kasubi over the loss of Sh715 million associated with irregularities in ticket sales. Prof Mbarawa said Mr Kasubi allegedly fraudulently facilitated a Comoro-based travel agency -- Salama World Travel Agency -- access Sh715 million tickets against the law.
The law sets Sh15 million as the ceiling for the value of tickets that the company can give to a travel agent, and for which payment must be made before new ones are issued, according to the minister.

"We won't spare unscrupulous workers; we want loss in revenue associated from irregularities in ticket sales to be a thing of the past," said Mr Matindi.




source: the citizen

First made-in-China jetliner begins airline service

SHANGHAI—The first regional jet produced in China’s initiative to compete in the commercial aircraft market made its debut flight Tuesday carrying 70 passengers.

An ARJ21-700 arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Tuesday after its first flight from Chengdu.  (ALY SONG / REUTERS)

The ARJ21-700 jet is one of a series of initiatives launched by the ruling Communist Party to transform China from the world’s low-cost factory into a creator of profitable technology in aviation, clean energy and other fields.

The plane operated by Chengdu Airlines took its passengers from the western city of Chengdu to Shanghai in two hours.

China is one of the biggest aviation markets but relies on foreign-made aircraft. Beijing wants to capture more of those sales. Its major airlines are state-owned, which gives the ruling party a captive pool of potential customers that can be ordered to buy Chinese-made aircraft.

The ARJ21 — or Asian Regional Jet for the 21st Century — is intended to make its state-owned manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, a competitor to Bombardier Inc. of Canada and Brazil’s Embraer SA.

“The first flight of the ARJ21 marks the beginning of commercial, or passenger, operations for the ARJ21 and signifies the first time a domestically made regional jet has been used by a Chinese airline,” said the COMAC chairman, Jin Zhuanglong.

The ARJ21 initiative was launched in 2002. It was scheduled to deliver its first plane in 2007 but that was pushed back due to technical problems. Key components including the nose, fuselage, and tail are the same as used on the Douglas DC-9 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series of jetliners.

A full-size jet under development by another state-owned company, the C919, is aimed at competing with Boeing Co. and Airbus. After delays blamed on manufacturing problems, the C919 is due to fly this year and enter service in about 2019.

Boeing forecasts China’s total demand for civilian jetliners over the next two decades at 5,580 planes worth a total of $780 billion.


source: thestar.com

BOEING COMPLETES DETAILED DESIGN FOR 787- 10 DREAMLINER

Boeing has achieved a major milestone toward the entry into service of the 787-10, the largest variant of the Dreamliner family, as the company announced yesterday the completion of its detailed design.

The airframer announced that this program stage was reached nearly two weeks ahead of schedule, which “means the information needed to build parts and tools for assembly has been completed and released for fabrication or procurement.” Boeing expects to start the assembly of the 787-10 in 2016, followed by the first flight in 2017.  The first delivery is scheduled for 2018 to United Airlines. The largest operators of the variant will be Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways, with 30 aircraft each.
“With the 787-10, we are building upon our experience and the 787-9 design itself to create this newest member of the super-efficient 787 family,” said Ken Sanger, vice president of 787 Airplane Development. “Through our dedicated team and our disciplined processes, we have optimized the design for the needs of the market and are excited as we look forward to production.”
The 787-10 is a stretched version of the 787-9, which was first delivered to Air New Zealand in 2014. Ken Sanger, vice president of 787 Airplane Development. said Boeing is “building upon our experience and the 787-9 design itself” on the 787-10. According to the company, 95% of the design and build of the 787-10 and 787-9 will be identical, thus reducing production costs and risks across the production system.

The 787-10 will be built exclusively at Boeing’s North Charleston, located in South Carolina. The aircraft will have a range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,908 kilometers), and In standard configuration, it will accommodate 323 passengers, which is 33% more than the capacity of 787-8 and 15% more than 787-9. and in standard configuration, it will accommodate 323 passengers, which is 33% more than the capacity of 787-8 and 15% more than the 787-9. To date, customers have placed orders for 164 787-10s, equivalent to 14% of all 787 orders.

THE ROLE OF ‘SUPPLIERS’ IN AIRWORTHINESS



In airworthiness terminologies, ‘suppliers’ means any source of components and material external to the approved maintenance organisation. These external sources could be distributors, other approved maintenance organisations, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), operators, etc.

Suppliers play an important role in the success of aviation industry.

The use of components from different suppliers enables aircraft maintenance organisations to carry out maintenance in a cost effective-manner by allowing them to benefit from the worldwide market competition.

Through worldwide market competition the industry gets suppliers who offer reliable, relevant, high-quality products and services that complement and augment aerospace industry technology.

However, acceptance of components from different sources has revealed several issues with suppliers for many years, such as the supply of unapproved parts or counterfeit parts, which may represent a risk to aviation safety.

Regulatory bodies i.e. CAAs provide clear requirements and guidance materials in order to ensure that the risks associated to the acceptance of components/parts from suppliers are mitigated. Maintenance organizations are required by the regulations to establish procedures for the acceptance of components/parts. Among the contents of such procedures include a supplier evaluation control procedures and acceptance/inspection of aircraft components and material from outside contractors.

Acceptance of components is a routine process in the daily activities of any approved maintenance organisation, therefore, clear requirements and detailed guidance material are necessary to ensure mitigating the risks associated to such process. Inadequate procedures or the lack of procedures on how to evaluate suppliers may result on the acceptance and installation by the maintenance organisation of non-conforming parts, unapproved parts and counterfeit parts. The worst foreseeable situation would be that the failure of the installed non-conforming or un-approved parts or counterfeit parts could have catastrophic consequences; however, this occurrence is considered improbable.

Proper evaluation and selection of suppliers helps reducing the number of findings detected by maintenance organisations during acceptance of components, such as components shipped with inadequate documentation, components non-conforming to the purchase order.

Maintenance organizations are required by regulations to keep the list of their approved suppliers. This list is always updated from time to time, meaning that adding and/or removing some of the suppliers accordingly.

One of the ways used by Maintenance organizations to get suppliers to keep into their lists is through the use of on-line suppliers’ directories and it’s always easy to source for suppliers through this way. Directories like http://www.airgetintouch.com provides a number of suppliers whereby maintenance organizations or individuals can easily find a suitable supplier pertinent to their needs.

Aviation suppliers contribute to aviation safety. Suppliers have a role to play in ensuring parts meet the airworthiness requirements and unairworthy aircraft parts are not supplied into the market. Every supplier must comply with relevant aviation safety regulations pertinent to aeronautical parts supply. 

Airbus delivers its 9,000th aircraft.

A321 for fast-growing Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir
Airbus has celebrated the delivery of its 9000th aircraft at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany on 20th March 2015. The aircraft is the first A321 to be delivered to Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir and will join the carrier’s all-Airbus A320 Family fleet flying on its fast-growing Asia-Pacific network. 
“The delivery of our 9000th aircraft comes as we enjoy ongoing strong demand for aircraft across our product line,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The range of aircraft we offer today is unrivalled, meeting every airline requirement from 100 to over 500 seats with maximum efficiency, uncompromised comfort and broad customer appeal.”
“We are especially pleased to be delivering today’s aircraft to VietJetAir, which is a rising star in the fast-growing Asian region. With the A321, VietJetAir will be able to increase capacity on its most popular routes while benefiting from the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft.”
“We are excited to be adding the A321 to our fleet today as we continue to develop our innovative value-based model in Asia-Pacific,” said Mr. Luu Duc Khanh, Managing Director of VietJetAir. “Based on our proven experience, we are confident that our decision to operate an all Airbus fleet will bring us unbeatable economies of scale while offering our passengers a comfortable travel experience. It will be a great honour for us to welcome the 9000th Airbus aircraft to its new home in sunny Vietnam.”
VietJetAir first took to the skies at the end of 2011 and now operates a fleet of 22 A320 Family aircraft on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The A321 delivered today is the first of seven ordered by the airline as part of a major aircraft acquisition plan for up to 100 A320 Family aircraft announced in early 2014.
Since delivering its first A300 in 1974, Airbus has developed the world’s most modern and comprehensive product line. Today this includes the market-leading single aisle A320 Family and the industry’s most extensive Widebody Family, comprising the super-efficient A330, the all-new A350 XWB and the world’s largest aircraft, the flagship double deck A380.
The 9000th delivery comes less than two years after Airbus reached its last milestone of 8000 aircraft-delivered in August 2013.  Over the last 10 years, Airbus has doubled its deliveries to reach over 600 aircraft a year today – a figure that is set to rise further as the demand grows.

Aircraft Delivery At Airbus Delivery Centre

Before taking delivery of an aircraft and signing the transfer of the title, the customer airline carries out a complete and detailed check. It is represented by a team of experts whose assignment is to check the conformity of the aircraft with the contractual specification. They are assisted in this by the Airbus Delivery team. 
Airbus has modern delivery centres at its final assembly facilities in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany, and Tianjin, China

  • 1st day: ground checks: external surfaces, bays and cabin visual inspection, static aircraft system and cockpit checks, engine tests.
  • 2nd day: acceptance flight: checks during flight of all aircraft systems (including cabin systems) and aircraft behaviour in the whole flight envelope.
  • 3rd day: physical rework or provision of solutions for all technical and quality snags open in delivery.
  • 4th day: completion of technical acceptance. Technical closure of the aircraft and all associated documents attesting the aircraft’s compliance to the type certificate and conformity to the technical specification allowing the issuance of the Certificate of Airworthiness.
  • 5th day: transfer of the aircraft's title deeds to the customer airline: the aircraft changes owner. Preparation of the aircraft for the ferry flight to its home base. 

The delivery phase is spread over four or five days on average, dependent upon the aircraft programme. A standard delivery procedure takes place as follows:

Each representative appointed by the customer airline has responsibility for a specific number of tasks. 
A typical team consists of around seven people (from engineering, quality, maintenance, flight operation, etc.) placed under the authority of a delivery team leader who centralises all the issues. 
Airbus also offers the customer airline a series of presentations about its aircraft throughout the production process, from major component assembly to painting and cabin furnishing, so that it can check that the terms of the contract have been met.

Source: Airbus

10-storey glass airport terminal with largest indoor waterfall, park...

New £726million terminal scheduled to open in 2018

A huge 10-storey glass airport terminal is being built in Singapore's Changi airport, which will boast the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a large indoor park, walking trails, apart from improved facilities for passengers, reports 'DailyMail'.


Called 'Project Jewel', the £726million terminal that is scheduled to open in 2018, will have five storeys above ground and five below ground, with a total footprint of more than 1.4 million square feet.


The round-shaped terminal will house one of the largest indoor collections of plants in Singapore and one of its top attractions will be Forest Valley, a huge five-storey garden filled with thousands of trees, plants, ferns and shrubs.


And a breathtaking 130-ft ‘Rain Vortex’ is expected to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall once complete.


For travellers, Jewel will be an exciting tourist destination. For Singaporeans, it will be a playground near home, the report added. 


Located at the core of the complex, it will transform into a light and sound show with special lighting effects at night. 


Jewel will seamlessly integrate with Terminal 1’s arrival hall and enhance facilities for faster check-ins and luggage drops, as well. 


It is designed by a team led by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie and is a joint venture between Changi Airport Group and CapitaMalls Asia.

Changi Airport was named the world’s best airport in 2014 by the World Airport Awards. 


Source: emirates247

Mitsubishi Aircraft Unveils Japan’s First Passenger Jet.

Japan displayed its first passenger jet after a delay of almost four years, with a helping hand from bullet-train specialists and a schedule to conduct first test flights next year.
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. finally rolled out its flagship Mitsubishi Regional Jet in Nagoya during a livestreamed event on October 18. The jet, which comes in 70- and 90-seat versions, was originally shown as a mockup at the Paris Air Show back in 2007.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet passenger aircraft, developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., stands in a hangar following a rollout ceremony at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works Komaki South Plant in Toyoyama, Japan, on Oct. 18, 2014.

The MRJ was launched in March 2008, and the first flight was originally scheduled for the second quarter of 2012. After two delays, the company said the jet’s first flight would be by summer 2015, with deliveries set for summer 2019.
Hideaki Omiya, chairman of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said the MRJ represented a dream for Japan. “This is Japan’s first domestically produced aircraft” since the NAMC YS-11 turboprop more than 50 years ago, he said.  “At that time, Japan had recovered from a bad economy and was living in an era where made in Japan products were available around the world.”
But having a dream alone can’t run a business, said Omiya.  “To realize the dream of a domestically built aircraft, there were numerous obstacles to overcome,” he said. “We had to bear the risk that it could hurt the company.  In March 2008, the MRJ was officially launched and faced difficulties, but today we can now present the aircraft to you despite the obstacles.”
Japan’s ANA is the launch customer of the MRJ. In remarks at the ceremony, airline President Shinichiro Ito said that Mitsubishi faced difficulties and challenges with the MJR. “But you have overcome them to have this aircraft roll out today,” he said.  “In  2017, we will receive the first aircraft and I can’t wait for the great honor that our company is the first one in the world to receive it.
“The pain of labor in birth is a harbinger of completing a fantastic aircraft with premium technology,” said Ito. “We are looking forward to the day when the aircraft flies high in the sky.”
In the press conference, Mitsubishi disclosed that the second and third aircraft are already in production. The test program will consist of 7 test aircraft – five in the air and two on the ground.
Room to Compete
Despite existing competition from jets produced by Bombardier and Embraer and new competition from the upcoming Embraer E-2, Mitsubishi feels that as regional carriers shed their 50-seat jets to upsize and major airlines continue to transfer mainline routes, the demand for 70 to 90-seat aircraft will continue to grow. The aircraft’s range out of Denver covers the continental U.S., while out of Paris, it covers most of Europe and the top part of North Africa.
Mitsubishi has 171 firm, 160 option and four purchase rights for its MRJ family. This includes 15 firm and 10 option from Japan’s ANA, 50 firm and 50 option from St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings and 100 firm and 100 options from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest, Inc. It has also signed a letter of intent with Japan Airlines for 32 MRJs and a definitive agreement with Eastern Air Lines Group for 20 MRJ90s.


sources: http://www.bloomberg.com/, http://airwaysnews.com/

Airbus A350-900 receives EASA Type Certification

The world’s latest generation commercial airliner, the A350-900, has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 30th September 2014. The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification will follow shortly.
The EASA A350-900 Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Ky. The document was handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion and Airbus’ A350 XWB Chief Engineer, Gordon McConnell.
“Receiving the A350-900 Type Certification from EASA is a great achievement for Airbus and for all our partners who have contributed to designing, building and certificating this fantastic, new generation aircraft. The A350-900 is now ready to fly from the nest and be enjoyed by airlines and passengers,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350 XWB embodies many extra innovative technologies which make all the difference in passenger comfort and airline efficiency.”
“The A350 XWB manufacturing programme has also been innovative and ambitious, aiming for a fully mature aircraft at entry into service and this is what we are proud to be delivering to our first A350 XWB customer, Qatar Airways, before the end of the year. Our fleet of five test aircraft completed the certification campaign, on time, cost and quality. Accumulating more than 2,600 flight test hours, we created and successfully achieved one of the industry’s most thorough and efficient test programmes ever developed for a jetliner,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.

The A350-900 Type Certification comes after successfully finishing a stringent programme of certification trials which has taken its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure all airworthiness criteria are fully met.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line and the newest member of Airbus' leading widebody family. The A350 XWB stands out in its class thanks to its combination of passenger comfort, technological innovation and its unique industrial process. Built hand-in-hand with our customers, the A350 XWB sets new standards in terms of passenger experience, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. At the end of May 2014, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide.

Source: http://www.airbus.com/

Airbus launches the A330neo


Following a decision by the Board of Directors of the Group, Airbus has launched the A330-800neo and A330-900neo, two new members of its Widebody Family, which will incorporate latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the unbeatable economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family. Deliveries of the A330neo will start in Q4 2017.
“The A330 is a very important margin contributor for our Group. It’s also one of the most reliable and efficient commercial aircraft ever. Customers love it. With our decision to re-engine the plane, we will keep the A330 flying high for many more years to come. The development costs for the A330neo will be incurred from 2015 to 2017 with an impact of around -70 basis points on Airbus Group’s 2015 Return on Sales target. However, we have a very good business case and the A330neo, once in service, will continue to significantly contribute to our group’s earnings,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group.
“The A330neo is the logical evolution of our reliable and versatile A330 Family. It provides an optimal solution for airlines around the world looking to minimise their fuel and operating costs while offering best-in-class comfort to their passengers,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “We see strong market potential for the A330neo, and like its market-leading smaller sister, the A320neo, we are confident this new aircraft will be a success in the medium-haul segment. We are again leveraging a proven aircraft with a wide operator base and making it even more efficient with the latest innovations and technology developments.”
In addition to the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo will feature incremental innovations, including aerodynamic enhancements such as new A350 XWB inspired winglets, an increased wing span and new engine pylons. Pilots will benefit from latest generation cockpit systems, and the already very comfortable A330 cabin will be further optimised to offer up to ten additional 18 inch wide seats. Passengers are winners too, as they will be able to enjoy a 21st century on-board experience with for example, fourth generation In Flight Entertainment (3D films), mood-lighting and full connectivity.

KQ 2nd Dreamliner arrives on Saturday, 21st June

Kenya Airways is set to receive its second Boeing 787-8 dreamliner aircraft this Saturday. The aircraft was handed over officially to KQ in Charleston-South Carolina in a colourful ceremony attended by Boeing executives, and KQ staff.The dreamliner joins KQ fleet this Saturday after a 15 hour ferry flight from Charleston SC to Nairobi. 

5Y- KZB in Charleston USA
Flight operations Director Captain Paul Mwangi,Flight Purser Venus and Flight Attendant Hinal Celebrate at the Delivery Dinner for the new 787 in Charleston
KQ and KCAA delivery teams gives a thumps up to the new dreamliner after final inspection.


This acquisition is part of Kenya Airways 10-year strategic plan dubbed ‘Project Mawingu’ in which the airline targets to increase its fleet size to 107 aircrafts by 2021 and destinations to 115. The next Dreamliner will be delivered in July this year. Also joining the fleet this July is the third B777-300 ER. In April KQ received its first B787-8 Dreamliner and will receive four more Dreamliners by October 2014.


Total, Amyris biojet fuel ready for use in commercial aviation


With the newly revised ASTM standard for jet fuel, Amyris and Total have begun to prepare to market a drop-in jet fuel that contains up to 10 percent blends of renewable farnesane.
Developed by Total, one of the world's leading energy companies, and Amyris, an industrial bioscience company, this new jet fuel blend meets the rigorous performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry.
“The ability of this renewable jet fuel to meet the criteria in the definitive standard for use in commercial aviation is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Amyris and Total,” said Philippe Boisseau, member of the executive committee of Total, president of marketing and services and new energies divisions. “It unleashes the potential of our renewable jet fuel for the commercial aviation market. The introduction of our green fuel for the commercial aviation industry has the potential to lead to a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with strong performance. As one of the world's biggest suppliers of aviation fuel, one of Total's objectives is to make breakthrough jet fuel solutions widely available to its airline customers, supporting their quest to meet high sustainability objectives.”
The revised standard developed by ASTM Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants, now includes the use of renewable farnesane as a blending component in jet fuels for commercial aviation. This latest version of ASTM D7566, Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons, will allow a biomass-based renewable jet fuel, as developed by Amyris and Total, to support the commercial airliners' goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Conformance to ASTM D7566 enables us to advance our ongoing discussions with several of the major international airlines seeking to fly commercial flights with renewable fuels capable of reducing emissions and improving performance,” said John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris. “With our partner Total, we are paving the way for a new era for the aviation industry by providing a drop-in, low carbon jet fuel solution that will support the sustainability and environmental goals set by the industry without compromising performance. Achieving conformance to this standard in record time is a credit to the disruptive potential of our technology and the commitment of the global aviation industry to support innovative solutions.”
The ASTM standard involved an end-to-end evaluation program to verify and ensure that the renewable jet fuel product is compatible with aircraft and engine components and systems. In collaboration with key stakeholders of the aviation community, Amyris and Total conducted a thorough test program, from the investigation of key fuel properties to evaluation of performance at scale including multiple engine and flight tests. This renewable fuel meets jet fuel strict specifications and bears favorable properties such as low freezing point, high thermostability and high net heat of combustion. The Brazilian fuels regulator, ANP, has indicated it will include this renewable fuel as an option among the other alternative aviation fuels already allowed in the national specification.

As part of their ongoing collaboration since 2011, Amyris and Total have also worked to ensure that the fuel be produced sustainably. Earlier this year, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certified Amyris’ first farnesene production facility in Brazil.


Source: biodieselmagazine.

Airbus electric aircraft takes to the skies



Imagine taking a peaceful flight, gliding along without much noise or any fuel, effortlessly descending into the airport without a trace of emissions. Sounds like a dream? It is. But one we can imagine in the not-so-distant future.

E-Fan, the brainchild of parent Airbus Group, is a prototype hybrid electric motor glider which will first be used for training pilots for their license at a school in Bordeaux, France, by 2017.

It debuted with its first public test flight in April 2014, and the two-seater electric aircraft is powered by two batteries, producing 60 kilowatts of power, which will be able to run for half an hour.

The E-Fan has been a continuous journey of evolution, says chief technical officer Jean Botti. "This is a learning curve to get to the big ones in the future."

It started five years ago when Airbus Group experimented with the Cri-Cri, a tiny plane based on the 1970s Cri-Cri, one of the smallest twin-engine planes in history.

Besides the benefits of noise and emissions reduction, the reduced cost of training pilots with the E-Fan is incredible, says Botti. It costs about two cents per hour to fly the electric plane, a number which is up to 20-50 times cheaper than the normal fuel costs of today's aircraft, he says.

Ultimately, these savings will get passed on to the customer, explained Botti, as the electric-powered flight training becomes a reality.

What's ahead for electric?

Eventually, the company has its eye on building planes for regional flights, with up to 90 people flying for three hours, although this is still 15-20 years away, says Botti.

"We're not talking about replacing the A380," he says. But the shorter-term goals also include helicopters with hybrid electric technology.

For Airbus Group, much of the investment is being mobilized by the European Commission's "Flightpath 2050" which aims to cut aircraft CO2 emissions by 75%, and noise levels to be reduced by 65% from their 2000 levels.

The goal is to make tens to hundreds of these planes, and Airbus Group says it will be designed by schools with apprenticeship programs in order to help raise up the new engineers of tomorrow.

The biggest challenge for E-Fan is developing new energy storage. "We cannot afford to stay with the state of batteries today. We need to go much higher in terms of efficiency," says Botti, adding that the company's new research center in Munich, Germany, will have the capacity to do just that.

Alternative planes take off

It's not just Airbus looking to alternative aircraft to help save energy, cut fuel consumption and reduce noise.

There are several others developing alternative aircraft with their own success. Recently, the Solar Impulse 2, a fully solar-powered aircraft, was unveiled by a Swiss duo which will attempt to fly non-stop for 120 hours without any fuel next year.

Made of carbon fiber, its predecessor, Solar Impulse, smashed aviation records as it succeeded in the first solar-powered overnight flight, lasting 26 hours in 2010.

Another creation is the Dutch-designed, German-built Antares 23E, an electric aircraft with 23-meter wings which can glide for 60 kilometers (37 miles). The Antares 23E can climb to 3,500 meters on a single battery charge.



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