Propulsion startup ZeroAvia conducted the first flight of its hydrogen-electric powertrain on a Dornier 228 testbed from Cotswold Aircraft, England, on Jan. 19.
The aircraft flew for 10 min. with the 600-kW ZA600 fuel-cell propulsion system replacing the 19-seat regional turboprop’s left-side turboprop. With a weight at takeoff of 5,650 kg (12,450 lb.), the modified 228 is the largest and heaviest aircraft yet to fly with hydrogen-electric propulsion.
NATO allows SAF pipeline to supply Belgian airports
Photo credit: Brussels Airlines
Airlines using Belgian airports will have easier access to SAF in the future after NATO began allowing the use of its pipeline network to transport it. Liège and Brussels airports said an agreement had been reached to use the military alliance’s Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) to transport SAF from fuel manufacturer Neste’s blending facility in Ghent. Brussels Airlines marked the occasion with a symbolic first flight Jan. 1 from Brussels to Malaga, Spain, that used some of the first SAF transported by CEPS
Air France-KLM issues first sustainability-linked bond
Photo credit: Steven May / Alamy Stock Photo
Air France-KLM issued the first sustainability-linked bond, which attracted strong investor interest amounting to around €1 billion ($1.08 billion) and an order book of around €2.6 billion. The bond’s coupons will be indexed on Air France-KLM’s Group target to reduce scope 1 and 3 jet fuel greenhouse gas emissions by 10% per revenue-ton-kilometer (RTK) by 2025 versus 2019. This is part of its broader decarbonization plan reduce scope 1 and 3 jet fuel greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per RTK by 2030 compared to 2019.
Delta to launch innovation lab
Vision concept: Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is launching a first-of-its-kind airline innovation lab to accelerate research, design and testing for a more sustainable future of air travel. Delta Sustainable Skies Lab will feature ongoing work across Delta today, inspire disruptive industry innovation, and scale known tech and actions to reach Delta’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
UK backs Virgin Atlantic transatlantic flight on 100% SAF
Photo credit: Joe Pries
Virgin Atlantic plans to operate the first-ever 100%-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powered transatlantic flight by the end of this year. The London Heathrow-New York JFK flight will use a Boeing 787 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The SAF will be made primarily from waste oils and fats, such as used cooking oil. Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said research and data from the flight would provide “a huge step in fast-tracking SAF use across the aviation industry and support the investment, collaboration, and urgency needed to produce SAF at scale.”
ANA, JOIN to partner on SAF-related projects
Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week
All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) signed an MOU to mutually cooperate on initiatives aimed at manufacturing and procuring sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) overseas.
ANA will provide advice and other support to JOIN’s SAF projects overseas, based on its experience and know-how in the aviation business, and JOIN will work to secure and increase ANA’s opportunities to stabilize its procurement of SAF by expanding investments in the SAF projects as well as actively working to supply SAF from the projects to ANA.
China’s Ruili Airlines, Embraer join Energia Advisory Group
Photo credit: Embraer
Sunan Ruili Airlines signed an agreement with Embraer to join the Energia Advisory Group, making it the first Chinese carrier to participate in the electric aircraft project. Ruili joins airlines such as Widerøe in working with Embraer to help define performance and design requirements for the OEM’s Energia concept aircraft, and more specifically to identify the potential market in China.
EU backs Dutch Electric Aircraft startup
Photo credit: Maeve Aerospace
With plans to develop a 44-seat electric regional airliner, Netherlands’ startup Maeve Aerospace has been selected to receive up to €17.5 million ($18.7 million) in European Union investment. Maeve is one of 78 companies selected by the European Commission to receive up to €470 million in grants and investments under the October 2022 round of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program. The companies were chosen from more than 1,000 startups that submitted applications.
Delft, Netherlands-based Maeve has been picked to receive the maximum amount the EIC can provide, a grant of €2.5 million plus up to €15 million in co-investment. The award is subject to the startup matching both the grant and equity parts with private investment.
With an industry alignment on a net zero target by 2050, IATA says it is “crucial for the industry to move together towards achieving this critical goal and look to other upcoming environmental challenges and how to tackle them,” something governments, industries, airlines and airports are working together step-by-step to accomplish.
Linda Blachly is Senior Associate Editor for Air Transport World and Aviation Week. She joined the company in July 2010 and is responsible for producing features for Air Transport World’s monthly magazine and engaging content for the aviationweek.com. She is based in the Washington DC office.