We speak with the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative. Also, Data Comm technology, CSeries delays, MRJ delays, another lawsuit against an airline, and virtual currency for Canadian Pilots. Plus listener recordings, aviation awards, military aircraft designations, a safety stand down, and some videos.
Steve Csonka is Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). Steve gives us an update on the development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF).
Steve is a commercial aviation professional with 31 years of broad aviation experience with OEMs, airlines, and CAAFI. He has a strong technical background which covers the commercial aircraft/engine life-cycle. Steve’s engagements include business development and long-term strategic planning.
- Initiation of continuous production of renewable jet fuel from the AltAir refinery in Paramount, CA, for regular delivery to the fuel farm at LAX, via contracting with United Airlines. The deal entails 5M gpy delivered as a 30% blend with petro-jet. First flight to use the fuel was UA 708 departing LAX for SFO on 10 Mar 16.
- Fuel from AltAir is also being delivered to the Navy (F76 diesel for Great Green Fleet exercises), Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, GA (SAJF for use in their FAST fleet, flight testing, and corporate flights), and for KLM flights out of LAX.
- SAJF is also being introduced into several airports in Scandinavia, primarily through the efforts of SkyNRG, with supply being pulled from batch production at NESTE.
- The industry has approved two additional SAJF production pathways. Seven more are in the process of being evaluated for approval, and about 20 others are on the horizon. Feedstocks include four general families (lipids, sugars, cellulose, and other stranded hydrocarbons (various waste streams)) and a broad range of thermochemical, biochemical, catalytic, and hybrid processes.
- LanzaTech produces jet fuel from waste gases for Virgin Atlantic
- Total/Amyris have agreed to supply SAJF (HFS-SIP) to fuel 48 new A350 aircraft deliveries to Cathay Pacific.
- Gevo and Lufthansa are pursuing an agreement to supply up to 40M gallons of SAJF (ATJ-SPK) over a 5 year period.
- JetBlue Strikes Big Biofuel Agreement for Select Flights
- CAAFI continues to foster research and commercial development through its work teams and public-private-partnerships: CAAFI’s R&D Team Kicks off the Fourth SOAP-Jet Webinar Series Focusing on Deployment and State Initiative Activities.
- Another reflection of CAAFI collaboration with Federal Agencies can be seen in the recently released Federal AJF R&D Strategy, which identifies goals and programs to be undertaken by multiple Agencies to help meet the need for the aviation enterprise. Conclusions in the Strategy also mirror findings from the release this summer of a NAS/ASEB Low Carbon Aviation Committee report, sponsored by NASA, looking at the near term research priorities to lower carbon from propulsion and energy.
- The FAA’s ASCENT center of excellence continues to make progress on multiple themes associated with SAJF: Removing supply chain roadblocks; National Jet Fuel Combustion Program.
- Upcoming CAAFI Biennial General Meeting 2016. (at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC from October 25-27, 2016.
- The International Civil Aviation Organization is meeting at their General Assembly and a major theme there will be reaching agreement on a framework for the use of Market Based Measures to help aviation close any future gap toward their commitment to limit net CO2 emissions from 2020 onward.
The FAA announced that “the revolutionary NextGen technology called Data Communications (Data Comm) is now operational at Washington Dulles International Airport.” Data Comm allows ATC and pilots to send and receive flight information using digital text-based messages. The FAA is on target to deliver Data Comm to 56 airport towers by the end of 2016.
Slow deliveries of GTF engines is causing Bombardier to lower its plan for CSeries jetliner shipments in 2016, 7 instead of 15. CEO Alain Bellemare says “it’s a great engine” and “I’m still very pleased that we made that choice. It’s the best engine available out there today for commercial aircraft.” But the engine delivery delays are “disappointing.”
The MRJ is scheduled for first delivery in mid-2018 to ANA, but that date may be in jeopardy due to problems with the environmental control system. The MRJ is being flight tested at Moses Lake in Washington state. (The Seattle Times covered this in Mitsubishi’s first MRJ plane reaches Moses Lake testing site.)
The FAA is investigating an attempt by the city of Santa Monica, California to evict two Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers from Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).
Mother sues airline after staff fly 5-year-old boy to wrong city and present her with a different ‘son’
JetBlue mixed up two unaccompanied youngsters, delivering them to the wrong parents.
Transport Canada enacted a rule that allows pilots to stay current without actually flying an airplane.
The Airplane of the Week
The 1962 Tri-Service Designation System, aka “McNamara’s Success.” David was asked by Patrick how US military aircraft get their numbers. We look at how the system is supposed to work, and how it works in this day in age.
Part 2 of Ric’s series on getting a type rating in the Lear 45. Ric had the opportunity to see the Delta Air Museum and sent some photos.
Registration for Banquet honoring the 34th Crystal Eagle winner, Steve Hinton, Sr. Reno Racer and former world speed record for piston-driven aircraft. The event will be at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road at San Carlos Airport. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m.
Hinton won unlimited national championships in Reno 1978 in the RB-51 Red Baron and 1985 in the Super Corsair. At his first Reno win, he was 26, the youngest pilot ever to win, a record that stood until his son won in 2009 at age 22. He held the 3-km course world speed record for piston-driven aircraft at 499.019 mph from 1979 to 1989. Again he was the youngest person to hold that record. Hinton retired from air racing in 1990 and since then has flown the T-33 pace plane for the unlimited races at Reno. He is president of the Planes of Fame Air Museums at Chino in Southern California and Valley-Grand Canyon, Arizona. He is owner of Fighter Rebuilders, a military aircraft restoration company, in Chino. Hinton is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a charter member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association. He has worked on more than 60 films, including Pearl Harbor in 2002.
Induction of Tom Poberezny into National Aviation Hall of Fame
Former EAA Chairman and CEO Tom Poberezny was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Poberezny is joined by three others; Capt. Robert Crippen, the first NASA space shuttle pilot; Christopher Kraft, NASA’s first flight director; and the late Col. Bud Day. Poberezny’s appointment was noteworthy in that he became part of the first father-son team to be honored. EAA’s founder, the late Paul Poberezny, was inducted in 1999.
Although Tom Poberezny was best known in his EAA role, he was also an accomplished pilot in his own right. “We at EAA are overjoyed at the recognition for Tom in respect to his long and varied career in the flying community,” EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said in a statement. “That includes his aerobatic skill as U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion, a member of the American world championship team in 1972, and dazzling air show audiences as a member of the Red Devils and Eagles aerobatic teams for 25 years.