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Singapore Airshow 2024: Sustainable Fuel and Initiatives by Airbus &Boeing

Singapore Airshow 2024: Sustainable Fuel and Initiatives by Airbus &Boeing

On the morning of 28th November 2023, Virgin Atlantic’s VS100 took off from London’s
Heathrow Airport, bound for New York’s John F Kennedy, with a special flight number,
VIR100. This flight was a significant step towards reducing the carbon footprint emitted by air
travel, through the usage of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) which is estimated by
some sources to be around 2.5% of today’s carbon emissions.

This flight is one of the many initiatives undertaken by Airlines, Manufacturers and even governmental organisations in a bid towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

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What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is generally made from non-petroleum feedstock and does
not use food crops or fresh water. The chemical structure of SAF is similar to that of
traditional jet fuels, but results in a significantly lower carbon emission compared to that of
traditional jet fuels, enabling SAF to combust at the same conditions as traditional jet fuels,
yet having a lower carbon emission.

This has been touted to be the best near-term opportunity to help the aviation sector reduce carbon emissions. With the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 94% depending on feedstock and technology pathway, this would enable the aviation industry in its bid to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
A brief history
The first flight utilizing blended biofuel (A form of SAF) took place in 2008 with Virgin Atlantic,
flying from London to Amsterdam. The biofuel was derived from a mix of babassu and
coconut oils. This paved the way for an increase in the usage of SAF in aviation, with multiple
test flights including United’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 utilizing Sustainable Aviation Fuel to power
one of its engines on a flight from Chicago to Washington.

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Up till November 2023, Sustainable Aviation Fuel has never been used to fully power a
commercial airplane. This is due to international standards which follow processes by
American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), airlines are permitted to only use up to
50% SAF on commercial flights. However, many small steps have been made in this
direction. This includes Virgin Australia, having flown more than 700 domestic and
international flights powered by a blend of SAF in partnership with US-based biofuel
producer, Gevo.
Meanwhile, member states of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation
have agreed to a long-term aspirational goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from
aviation by 2050. Some regional blocs have even begun taking steps to reduce carbon
emissions caused by aviation, such as in the European Union, where there has been a new
law passed to cut aviation emissions by putting increasing amounts of SAF (2% in 2025 to
70% in 2050) used across the EU.
Current Efforts
With the rise of the environmentalism movement together with the agreements in the Paris
The agreement, major organizations and aviation companies have started making progress in
ensuring a greener travel experience. These can range from the development of methods to
create SAF from different ingredients to even negating the usage of non-renewable fuels to
power modern-day aircraft. Let’s take a look at how major aerospace companies are
stepping up to the challenge of ensuring air travel becomes a greener mode of transport!

Airbus’ Current Effort
Airbus has adopted a rather unique strategy, choosing to research using renewable sources
of fuels to power aircraft. With the ongoing ZEROe research, Airbus aims to develop the
world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. Attached to the first A380
ever built, MSN 1, Airbus aims to use it for in-flight testing of the ZEROe prototype engine
from 2026.
Apart from the ZEROe program, Airbus has also designed and manufactured more fuel-
efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, which reduces fuel consumption by
25% when compared to previous-generation aircraft. Improvements such as this ensures
that fewer emissions would be produced, which would in turn, reduce the impacts flights
have on the climate through lower carbon emissions. Furthermore, From July 2023, all
delivery flights taking off from Toulouse and Hamburg are offered 5% pure SAF free of
charge to customers. This further shows Airbus’ commitment in reducing carbon emissions.
Boeing’s Current Effort
Boeing, meanwhile, has developed a strategy based on utilizing data analytics and
modeling tools to enable the user to visualize various decarbonization strategies on the
pathway to net zero emissions. The Cascade Climate impact model is a data modeling tool that provides actionable insights into how different strategies can reduce emissions and enable the aviation industry to decarbonize by 2050.

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As a free tool accessible to the public, Cascade can aid organizations in measuring the impact of various decarbonization strategies as the global aviation industry strives to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This further exemplifies Boeing’s commitment to helping the aviation industry achieve its net zero carbon goal by providing data and insights on the potential impacts of various sustainability solutions.

Furthermore, Boeing’s subsidiary Wisk will also display its eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off
and Landing) solution, which is the world’s first all-electric, autonomous, four-seat air taxi.
With the world’s first public demonstration of an autonomous eVTOL fixed-wing aircraft at
Oshkosh 2023, Wisk successfully demonstrated how safe and quiet an autonomous, all-
electric air taxis are for the general public. This is after a rigorous flight test program
spanning over a decade, with over 1700 flights over 5 generations of aircraft, and on two
continents. Wisk’s eVTOL solution is one project that we foresee making a
difference in the future of air travel!

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Other Notable Efforts
Embraer aims to be carbon neutral by 2040 and achieve carbon neutral growth from 2022. It
plans to implement 25% SAF use in its operations by 2040 and 100% renewable energy
sources by 2030. The usage of SAF is an essential part of Embraer’s sustainability
commitment., having also tested the Phenom and Predator with 100% SAF. Furthermore,
Embraer’s Commercial E-Jets E2 family can fly on both engines with blends of up 100%
SAF without any compromise to safety or performance. Embraer is joining an increasing
number of companies who are ensuring that their aircraft would be able to run on SAF, an
increasing trend within the aviation industry.

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Middle East

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus
Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways made its way back to Abu Dhabi, landing at Zayed International Airport. Following a four-year break in service, both crew and passengers were greeted with enthusiasm.

In the summer of 2024, British Airways plans to launch a daily route, utilising a Boeing 787-9, from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The new route enhances ties between the UAE and the UK and expands  vast worldwide network, catering to passengers who may be visiting friends and family or travelling for business.

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30+1, flight BA073 to Abu Dhabi leaves London Heathrow at 22.25. Departing at 10.10 and landing at London Heathrow at 15.20 is the inbound flight (BA072).

The chief executive officer and managing director of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, stated: “We are delighted to welcome British Airways to Zayed International Airport. Their daily schedule is expected to improve connectivity and stimulate travel and business.” Visitors may experience the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates like never before at our brand-new, award-winning, state-of-the-art terminal, where they will be welcomed with the best kind of Emirati hospitality.”

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Flight schedule:

London Heathrow (LHR) to Zayed International (AUH)All times are local
 
SeasonFlight numberDeparting LHRArriving AUHFlight numberDeparting AUHArriving LHR
Summer ‘24BA7322:2508:30+1BA7210:1015:20
Winter ‘24BA7322:2509:30+1BA7211:1015:20

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Aviation

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain’s seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain's seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

A viral video capturing a startling moment aboard a United Airlines charter flight from Denver to Toronto has triggered a federal investigation.

The footage, initially shared on social media by Hensley Meulens, the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies baseball team, depicts a member of the coaching staff seated in one of the pilot seats while the aircraft was in mid-flight.

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In his caption, Meulens expressed gratitude to the captain and first officer for allowing him this unusual experience. The video, filmed by another passenger, reveals the cockpit door open, and at one point, a third passenger briefly enters the flight deck. Alarmingly, during this time, the captain was absent from the cockpit.

Despite the flight being a private charter operated by United Airlines, company and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations strictly prohibit passengers from entering the cockpit during flight or leaving the flight deck unsecured.

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United Airlines swiftly responded, expressing deep concern over the incident. A spokesperson emphasized that the video depicted an unauthorized person in the flight deck at cruising altitude with the autopilot engaged, constituting a clear violation of safety and operational policies.

The FAA confirmed that it is actively investigating the incident, highlighting that unauthorized access to the flight deck during flight is a violation of federal regulations. The agency assured that it is taking the matter seriously and will conduct a thorough examination to ensure compliance with aviation safety standards.

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Aviation

Israel vs Iran Military Power Comparison: Which country is stronger?

Explore the comparative analysis of Israel and Iran’s military capabilities. Delve into the strengths and strategic considerations of each nation to assess potential outcomes in the event of conflict.

Israel vs Iran Military Power Comparison: Which country is stronger?

In this article, we’ll delve into the power dynamics between Iran and Israel. With Israel launching multiple attacks on various Middle Eastern regions, both countries have initiated defensive measures against each other.

We’ll explore the respective features of both nations, although it’s important to note that the accuracy of the report may not align precisely with information from public domain sources.

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Global Military Index ranking

According to the Military Power Index, Iran holds the 14th position while Israel holds the 17th. This index provides a direct comparison of the armed forces of the two nations. It suggests that Iran surpasses Israel in terms of manpower, as well as in the number of tanks and armed vehicles.

In the ongoing conflict, the world is divided into two sides: Israel and Iran. Countries in the Asian region, such as Russia, the Middle East, and China, strongly support Iran, as they are its main military suppliers. On the other hand, Israel receives its main backing from the United States and European countries.

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Iran and Isreal Distance

Both countries, separated by neighboring nations like Iraq and Jordan, face a considerable distance between them. For attacks across such distances, they heavily rely on potent weaponry, especially through air-to-ground assaults.

Both possess formidable defense aircraft and military tanks, which undoubtedly influence the war’s outcome.

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Given that the distance between Jerusalem and Tehran is approximately 1,850 kilometers (1,149 miles), conducting attacks over such long distances requires aircraft with extensive flying ranges.

Israel may lack the inherent power to reach Iran directly, necessitating mid-air refueling or the use of long-range missiles to execute such operations.

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Which military is stronger Israel or Iran?


In terms of Israel, it boasts advanced technology in the defense sector, with a strong focus on both business and innovation. It serves as a key supplier of guided rockets and various critical weapons to the defense market. Many domestically-built military tankers and advanced weaponry have proven their efficacy on the battlefield.

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Israel stands out as a significant defense equipment supplier, particularly due to strong support from NATO countries like the US, Europe, and the UK. This backing provides access to the most advanced fighter jets and technologies, including 5th-generation fighters.

Israel vs Iran Military Power Comparison: Which country is stronger?
Army Military Apache Helicopter Attack Chopper

Conversely, Iran faces challenges in acquiring the latest weaponry, relying heavily on Russian and Chinese technology, along with seized equipment from Iraq and Afghanistan, predominantly sourced from the United States.

Iran’s domestic development of aircraft has been limited, and maintenance is hindered by parts shortages. Additionally, disruptions in supply chains, particularly due to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, pose significant hurdles for Iran in acquiring military equipment.

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However, Iran has made upgrades, particularly in ground-to-air attack munitions procured from Russia. These include long-range ballistic missiles capable of inflicting heavy damage on enemy territory.

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How many fighter jets are in Israel & Iran?


When comparing air attack capabilities, Israel’s air force surpasses Iran’s in terms of aircraft quantity. According to the Global Firepower Index, Israel holds a clear advantage in air power. The Israeli army boasts a total of 612 fighter jets, whereas Iran possesses 551.

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Israel operates a fleet of 75 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Additionally, they possess 58 Boeing F-15 Eagle jets. Moreover, Israel has 25 Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft in its arsenal.

Israel vs Iran Military Power Comparison: Which country is stronger?

Furthermore, the Israeli Air Force boasts 343 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. Lastly, they maintain a fleet of 30 Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

Israel possesses numerous advanced fighter jets and military aircraft equipped with some of the most lethal weapons available.

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Iran’s fighter aircraft inventory includes the Mikoyan MiG-29 acquired in 1991, 40 Grumman F-14 Tomcats, 20 Su-22s, 24 Chengdu J-7s, 23 Mirage F1s, and 60 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, showcasing its commitment to diverse defense capabilities.


Iran’s inventory primarily consists of outdated aircraft, many of which are around 20 years old. However, according to the Iran Defense Ministry, all aircraft are reportedly in good condition and deemed capable of meeting the challenges of any conflict

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Iran’s and Israel’s Military Capabilities and personnel

According to the latest report, Israel’s active personnel count stands at 169,500, with an additional 465,000 individuals in reserve. Israel implements a significant policy whereby most young citizens are mandated to join the defense forces for several years to acquire skill sets essential for serving as reserved forces, ready to mobilize whenever required for defensive or offensive operations.

In comparison to Israel, Iran boasts a larger ground forces personnel count. Iran’s military comprises approximately 610,000 active-duty personnel, supplemented by 350,000 reserve and trained individuals available for mobilization as necessary.

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This substantial manpower brings Iran’s total military strength to roughly 960,000 personnel, excluding figures for the Law Enforcement Command or Basij.

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Does Israel have an air defense system?


Israel has developed some of the most advanced air defense systems globally, a response to the consistent threat of attacks from neighboring nations. The Iron Dome, renowned for its effectiveness, stands out as a prime example.

This smart air defense system has successfully intercepted numerous unexpected attacks on Israeli soil, with its capability to destroy incoming missiles mid-flight. Operating on constant alert, the Iron Dome swiftly neutralizes threats whenever they arise within the country’s borders.

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Furthermore, Israel has invested heavily in enhancing its defense radar systems, enabling early detection of enemy activities from considerable distances. Pioneering in drone technology, Israel boasts the Heron pilotless planes, capable of enduring flights lasting over 30 hours, facilitating operations even in remote locations.

Additionally, Israel’s Delilah loitering munition, with an approximate range of 250 km (155 miles), though limited for operations beyond the Gulf, can be strategically deployed closer to Iran’s border by the Israeli Air Force, bridging the distance gap effectively.

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Iran has collaborated with Russia and China to develop several air defense systems, bolstering its capabilities. Among these systems are multiple medium-range defense systems, such as the Arman, Tactical Sayyad, and Khordad-15. These systems are designed to safeguard Iranian airspace from threats at distances of up to 200 km (124 miles) and varying altitudes.

One notable system, the Arman, was unveiled in November 2022. It is strategically mounted on military trucks, enabling swift deployment within minutes to address potential threats effectively.

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