sâmbătă, 2 februarie 2008

Airbus A380 pe carburanti alternativi

ADS Network da stirea din partea Airbus si o citez ca atare:

Airbus A380 Commences Alternative Fuel Test Flight Programme

(February 1, 2008) -- On Friday, February 1st, 2008, the
Airbus A380 will launch the company's alternative fuel research programme by becoming the first commercial aircraft to fly with a synthetic liquid fuel processed from gas (Gas to Liquids - GTL) in a three hour flight between Filton, UK and Toulouse, France. The A380, today's most fuel efficient airliner, is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, while Shell International Petroleum is providing the Shell GTL Jet Fuel. The Airbus tests are running in parallel to the agreement signed in November 2007 with Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Fuels, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Rolls Royce and Shell International Petroleum Company to research the potential benefits of synthetic jet fuel processed from gas. The findings of the tests will benefit the consortium's research. Under Airbus' overall alternatives fuels research programme, this is the first step of a long-term Airbus testing phase to evaluate viable and sustainable alternative fuels for the future. GTL could be available at certain locations to make it a practical and viable drop-in alternative fuel for commercial aviation in the short term. GTL has attractive characteristics for local air quality, as well as some benefits in terms of aircraft fuel burn relative to existing jet fuel. For instance, it is virtually free of sulphur. Synthetic fuel can be made from a range of hydrocarbon source material including natural gas or organic plant matter made by a process called Fischer-Tropsch. Testing GTL today will support future second generation bio-fuels, but which are not presently available in sufficient commercial quantities. Airbus will study viable second generation bio-fuels when they become available. Sjoerd Post, Vice President Shell Aviation, said "After more than 30 years of development and a decade of operations, we are now building, together with Qatar Petroleum, the world scale Pearl GTL plant in Qatar. In our drive for cleaner fuels, GTL technology can help reduce local emissions and encourage sustainable mobility." "Fuel and energy are key challenges aviation is facing and for which technology and international research collaboration open up new horizons. Our alternative fuels roadmap requires innovation, diversity of ideas and options that need to be explored", said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. "This takes bold cross industry and cross border collaboration and that's what we are showing today with our groundbreaking first test flight with alternative fuels. It is part and parcel of Airbus' commitment to providing leadership as an eco-efficient enterprise".
Source: Airbus

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Test aircraft A380 MSN004 has flown between Filton and Toulouse with one engine powered by alternative fuel. The test, part of Airbus' research programme into alternative fuels, was run in collaboration with Shell International Petroleum and Rolls Royce.
The project is particularly important for environmental and economical reasons. Crude oil derived products are increasingly in demand and prices are rocketing. If it is possible to find a suitable alternative fuel, this could stabilise the market for the benefit of all. Secondly, some alternative fuels could be beneficial for the environment. It is Airbus' goal as a key stakeholder to support evolution towards a carbon neutral aviation industry. Alternative fuels may contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. The tests were run on an A380 as it is the most modern aircraft flying today, however the fuel could equally have been tested on any Airbus aircraft. The alternative fuel used on the test flight was gas to liquid (GTL), which looks like kerosene, but is clear coloured. It is a natural gas, which has been cleaned and has undergone the Fischer-Tropsch process - the conversion of synthesis gas to liquid fuel. The flight's goal was to see how the aircraft operated on GTL. Engine behaviour was observed as it was shut down and re-started in flight. Emissions will be compared with those of kerosene and the team will be using the results to predict the environmental benefits and define the next steps. In researching alternative fuel, Airbus is looking for a drop-in product, meaning that it could be used in aircraft currently in service. It would equal or better the aircraft performance while offering environmental benefits. Airbus is hoping to establish what the best alternative fuel options are and how they will benefit the environment. As synthetic fuels are reported to have similar characteristics, whatever their original feedstock, this test was an excellent pre-cursor to research into biomass to liquid (BTL) fuels, should a suitable supply become available. In order for an alternative fuel to qualify for commercial aviation, review and approval by the international Fuel Standards is a pre-requisite. Airbus is committed to this goal, and it is hoped that this will be obtained for GTL by 2013.

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