First Airbus helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel
Marignane, 9 November 2021– An Airbus H225 has performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering one of the Safran Makila 2 engines. The flight, which took place at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, marks the start of a flight campaign aiming to assess the impact of unblended SAF on the helicopter systems in view of certifying the use of SAF blends that exceed today’s 50% limit.
“While all Airbus helicopters are certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene, it is our Company’s ambition to have its helicopters certified to fly with 100% SAF within the decade. Today’s flight is an important first step towards this goal”, said Stefan Thome, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.
The flight campaign, which follows earlier unblended SAF bench tests performed by Safran Helicopter Engines at its Bordes plant, will provide further understanding of the technical challenges associated with the use of 100% SAF. The H225 test helicopter flew with an unblended SAF derived from used cooking oil, provided by TotalEnergies, which offers a net 90% CO2 reduction compared to regular jet fuel.
“SAF is an important pillar of Airbus Helicopters’ decarbonisation strategy because it provides immediate CO2 reduction with no negative impact on the performance of the helicopter,” Thome added. “I thank our partners Safran Helicopter Engines and TotalEnergies for their important collaboration in making today’s flight a reality. Further cooperation among all industry stakeholders is essential to overcome the challenges associated with implementing SAF widely and to make real progress in reducing the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions”.
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In order to drive the deployment of biofuels, Airbus Helicopters has launched a SAF User Group dedicated to the rotary-wing community. The company has also started using SAF for training and test flights at its French and German sites.
@AirbusHeli @SafranHCEngines @TotalEnergies #H225 #SAF #Sustainability
“Biomimetic Seats and Time Travel: easyJet’s Vision for Travel in 50 Years”
EasyJet 2070: The Future Travel Report highlights include:
The airport journey and air travel experience will be revolutionized by technological advances:
Heartbeat and biometric passports will replace the traditional passport, for passengers to breeze through their airport. Much like fingerprints and the retina, every person’s cardiac signature is unique. Passengers’ heartbeat signatures and biometric details will be logged on a global system in the same way fingerprint scanning technology works today.
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Ergonomic and biomimetic sensory plane seats will become the norm, with smart materials adapting to passengers’ body shape, height, weight, and temperature, providing the ultimate tailored comfort flying experience
Inflight entertainment will be beamed directly in front of passenger’s eyes, via optoelectronic devices, replacing the need for onboard screens or downloading movies before you fly
e-VTOL air taxis will do away with the airport car park shuttle – the journey to the airport will be quicker and more convenient than ever before with 85% of passengers arriving by e-VTOLs from their homes to the terminal.
As technology advances, it will see significant advances in the accommodation experience abroad:
3D printed hotel buffet food will allow holidaymakers to 3D print whatever they want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while reducing food waste.
Subterranean hotels built into the fabric of the earth that are super energy efficient and at one with the environment
All hotel rooms will be smart rooms with beds already pre-made to exactly desired firmness, ambient temperatures and favourite music playing based upon preferences you select in advance of booking the holiday
A holographic personal holiday concierge will accompany holidaymakers to provide up to date destination information and assistance throughout their stay
3D printed, recyclable holiday clothes on arrival at the hotel will remove the need for suitcases and fast holiday fashion as travellers can print the clothes required in their hotel rooms, tailored to their perfect fit and style, and recycle the materials for the next guest to enjoy.
Human powered hotels which harvest energy from its guests’ footsteps in order to generate power
Four of the expert predictions have been brought to life in incredibly detailed renders, showcasing how travel could look in 2070.
The impressive visuals depict travellers using their unique heartbeats to get through security at the airport, as well as a new way of flying as aircraft are fitted with adaptable, biomimetic seats, with entertainment beamed directly into their eyes. Other images show holidaymakers viewing a true-to-life Colossus of Rhodes wearing haptic suits, and selecting delicious 3D-printed food, personalised to their tastes. Three-quarters (75%) of Brits say that these technological advances would make them more likely to go on holiday in the future.
The survey of 2,000 British adults revealed that biometric heartbeat passports and time-travelling holiday experiences are the advancements in travel that the nation would most like to see happen by 2070.
Cirium Launches the First Airline Routes Tool Based on Satellite-Based Flight Tracking
Cirium, the aviation analytics leader, has launched the aviation industry’s first Airline Routes tool to identify actual flights flown by aircraft type.
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It uses applied analytics to derive routes flown by airlines based on satellite-based flight tracking and fuses this with advanced fleet data. The new premium Routes tool is part of Ascend Profiles, a visual descriptive analytics tool which enables businesses to quickly view aircraft intelligence by airline or lessor.
Businesses such as aircraft lessors, banks or aircraft manufacturers are empowered to identify the aircraft flown by route for 1,700 airlines and factor development opportunities or risk into their decision-making. By leveraging satellite-based flight tracking data the tool identifies what routes and aircraft airlines actually flew rather than what they planned to fly providing the most accurate flight completion picture.
India is one of the markets in the spotlight currently, as air travel is helping to boost economic growth in the region. Low-cost-carrier, IndiGo recently announced it was looking to grow its international network and further solidify its domestic operations. According to Ascend Profiles, IndiGo has a fleet of 306 aircraft – (273 in service and 33 in storage), plus 501 on order. Of the delivered fleet, 36% are on operating lease.
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The Routes tool shows which two-way international routes IndiGo was operating this January which it was not in January 2022. For example, 172 flights were tracked on the newly added route between Indira-Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to Tribhuvan International in Kathmandu. All operated using Airbus A320s.
Additionally, the new tool shows the bi-directional routes for which IndiGo has ramped up operations. The carrier saw the most significant growth on the Singapore – Bengaluru route, where it completed 62 flights, all using A320s, this January versus only one flight, using an A321, last January.
IndiGo also substantially increased its operations this year on the Dubai – Ahmedabad route, completing five times the number of flights in Jan 23 when compared with Jan 22. The Airline Routes tool is part of Ascend Profiles which visualizes aircraft intelligence of airline or lessor profiles and provides quick and accurate insights showing the latest 12-month year-over-year flights flown by an airline’s routes and can be viewed by flights, seats and ASKs. The tool is available as a web-app on desktop, tablet, and mobile.
Bell and Pratt & Whitney to Collaborate on High-Speed VTOL Propulsion Technology
As industry partners interested in accelerating the future potential of High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL)technology, Bell and Pratt & Whitney are collaborating on propulsion solutions for the development of HSVTOL technology.
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Bell continues to work with the U.S. government and its industry partners to reduce risk and develop capability requirements. As Bell continues to build its strong team, we’re having open discussions and collaborating with industry thought leaders, including Pratt & Whitney, to rapidly deliver HSVTOL capabilities to the warfighter.
“We’re excited to dig into HSVTOL propulsion technology research with Bell and showcase what this next-generation capability could bring to USAF and other warfighters,” said Dr. Steven Burd, Director and Chief Engineer of Advanced Military Engine Programs, Pratt & Whitney.
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Bell is actively developing innovative vertical lift technologies including the HSVTOL family of vehicles. HSVTOL provides next-generation capability in vertical lift speed, range, and survivability. This type of technology blends the maneuverability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft. Bell’s HSVTOL technology may serve a variety of complex missions in the future battlespace for runway independent agile mobility, SOF infil/exfil, personnel recovery, and Strike/ISR.
“HSVTOL propulsion technology is one of the key technical areas to develop for future capability, and we’re thrilled to leverage expertise from Pratt & Whitney to explore ways to mature technology for these concepts,” said Lee Anderson, Director of Innovation, Bell.
HSVTOL technology leverages existing Bell experience with the development of high-speed vertical lift aircraft, with the Bell 360 Invictus dashing over 200 knots, and the Bell V-280 Valor cruising to over 300 knots. HSVTOL development unlocks next-generation capability for speed, range, and survivability. HSVTOL’s runway flexibility provides the capability to utilize runways with conventional jet takeoff when runways are intact and independence with short field takeoff and vertical takeoff when runways are compromised
REGENT Secures Strategic Investment from Japan Airlines Innovation Fund
Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, a strategic fund that serves as the venture arm of Japan Airlines (JAL), one of the top airlines in the world, has announced a strategic investment in REGENT, the firm that invented electric seagliders for environmentally friendly marine transportation. This investment in REGENT demonstrates JAL’s dedication to environmentally friendly transportation and acts as the first step in the investigation of adding seagliders into its extensive worldwide network. REGENT has now raised more than $45 million with the help of this investment.
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Seagliders are a new mode of transportation that combines the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat. These all-electric, zero-emission vessels operate over the water and leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180 miles between coastal destinations.
REGENT has sold over 400 seagliders to date, to global aviation and ferry customers including Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand). With more than $7.5 billion in orders from commercial operating partners around the world, REGENT aims for its 12-passenger seaglider, Viceroy, to enter service by mid-decade.
In addition to the investment, REGENT and JAL are working together to explore opportunities for ecosystem development, bringing together relevant stakeholders to deliver the benefits of seagliders to new and underserved markets. REGENT’s investors to date include Thiel Capital, Y Combinator, Founders Fund, and Mark Cuban.
Airbus and VDL Group join forces to produce an airborne laser communication terminal
A partnership agreement for the development and production of the UltraAir laser communication terminal for aircraft has been inked by Airbus and VDL Group. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Airbus will lead the development, and the two organisations will now be ready for a prototype demonstration and first flying test in 2024.
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UltraAir will enable the exchange of large amounts of data using laser beams in a network of ground stations and satellites in geostationary orbit at 36,000 km above the Earth. With unparalleled technology including a highly stable and precise optical mechatronic system, this laser terminal will pave the way for data transmission rates that could reach several gigabits-per-second while providing anti-jamming and low probability of interception.
UltraAir will allow military aircraft and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to connect within a multi-domain combat cloud thanks to laser-based satellite constellations such as Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway. This is a key milestone in the roadmap of Airbus’ overall strategy to drive laser communications further, which will bring forward the benefits of this technology as a key differentiator for providing multi-domain combat collaboration for government and defence customers. In the longer term, UltraAir could also be implemented on commercial aircraft to allow airline passengers to establish high-speed data connections.
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Regarded as the solution for data traffic in the quantum age, laser communication technologies are the next revolution in satellite communications (satcom). As satellite bandwidth demand is growing, the traditional satcom radio-frequency bands are experiencing bottlenecks. Laser communication brings 1,000 times more data, 10 times faster than the current network. Laser links also have the benefit of avoiding interference and detection, as compared to already-crowded radio frequencies they are extremely difficult to intercept due to a much narrower beam. Thus, laser terminals can be lighter, consume less power and offer even better security than radio.
Indian Navy to buy Rafale M fighter plane after IAF?
The internal news that India would purchase more Rafale Jets for the Indian Navy as part of a fresh batch of upgraded fighter jets for Indian defence is being released by the French media. According to the source, the two nations can sign this agreement when French President Emmanuel Macron travels to India in March.
As part of an ongoing deal for fighter jets for the aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, two fighter jets from different countries are involved: one is the French-built Dassault Rafale and the other is an American F/A18 Super Hornet. A few months ago, the two fighter jets demonstrated their ability to conduct operations over the Indian aircraft carrier. The race to acquire this contract could be a significant development for the Indian Navy’s future aircraft supplies.
A total of 36 fighter planes built by Rafale have already entered service with the Indian Air Force. France is now looking for the fighter jet requirements from the Indian Navy. As stated, it will offer all necessary assistance for Indian defence, and it is also constructing component production in India with local suppliers.
It is French media claimed that India turned down the American Jet F/A 18 super hornet and opted instead for the Rafale agreement. This agreement will mark a significant turning point in Indian-French ties. Additionally, according to the media source, the Indian Navy is ready to agree to a multi-billion dollar purchase agreement with France for 26 Rafale M aircraft.
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The opposite The American company Boeing has previously stated that the F/A Super Hornet was specifically designed for naval carriers, has a wide range of features, connects to Boeing P8 maritime aircraft for surveillance support, and has the newest aircraft, all of which have improved India’s ability to fight off enemies.
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43 obsolete Russian MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighter planes are now in the Indian Navy’s fleet. The Navy had numerous potential names for the aircraft, but the Rafale M and the F-18 ultimately won the race. 240 Rafale M planes are now in the French Navy. These jets have been produced by Dassault since 1986.
The Indian New Aircraft Carrier is equipped with the newest defence weaponry, as well as—and this is crucial—aircraft accommodation on its deck that is appropriate for the Rafale and Super Hornet.
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In addition to France and India, Egypt, Qatar, and Greece all fly state-of-the-art French fighter jets. The UAE and Indonesia also agreed to buy 80 Rafales in December 2021 and 42 Rafales in February 2022, respectively.
According to certain sources, the Rafale jets might be very significant to the Indian armed forces. In technical terms, Rafale will be simple to maintain as it is already in use by the Indian Defense. Another major issue with this purchase is the two-seater Rafale, which Dassault does not supply even though it could be appropriate for the Indian aircraft carrier. but in addition, it will equip this fighter with the MBDA and other armaments.
With the purchase of the Boeing military, Chinook, P8, and Apache aircraft, India and the US have already established defence connections. Even if they lose their contract, Boeing won’t be significantly impacted. But according to French media, there is no proof to far that India is indeed interested in purchasing Rafale fighters for its Indian Navy.
Source: First Post
The first 13-hour test flight of the A321XLR was successfully accomplished.
The Airbus A321 XLR is the longest-flying narrow-body aircraft, and it recently showed that it is capable of flying above Toulouse. Additionally, it performs a flying display and draws an XLR over the sky, both of which are readily visible from flight radar 24.
The flight test that "says" it all!
Check out the cool flight path of the #A321XLR’s 13-hr and 15-min flight test earlier today! pic.twitter.com/5w2DSaJy1s
— Airbus (@Airbus) December 13, 2022
The engine and aerodynamic upgrades made to the A321neo are where the A321XLR gets its Xtra Long Range capability. The A321XLR has the unusual potential to fly up to 4,700nm thanks to a larger Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) and increased fuel capacity.
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The A321XLR offers airlines significant financial benefits. The A321XLR consumes up to 30% less fuel per seat than older models of aircraft.
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All clear for take off!🛫
Follow the #A321XLR if you have more than a few hours to spare😉…
Watch this space!https://t.co/IEJQgH4GRk pic.twitter.com/PmKRt9poWm
— Airbus (@Airbus) December 13, 2022
This is a significant accomplishment for Airbus and the global A320 Family of clients. Airlines will be able to provide long-haul comfort on a single aisle with the introduction of the A321XLR thanks to its distinctive Airspace cabin.
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The A321XLR is the next development in the single-aisle A320neo family, answering market demands for expanded range and cargo while adding more value for airlines by making it possible to offer commercially viable services on longer routes than any other aircraft model.
Un vol de plus de 13 heures pour l’Airbus A321XLR https://t.co/8KXXxzXfvM pic.twitter.com/Uh77Qtwws8
— Air Journal (@airjournal) December 14, 2022
The A321XLR will have a single-aisle aircraft range of up to 4,700nm (8700 km), which is unprecedented. It will also use 30% less fuel per seat than previous-generation aircraft and produce less noise and NOx emissions.
The A320neo Family has received more than 8,000 orders from more than 130 customers by the end of June 2022. More than 20 customers had placed more than 500 A321XLR orders.
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