Ryanair and Shell sign sustainable fuel agreement

By Sustainability

Ryanair and Shell have signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at over 200 Ryanair airports across Europe.

There will be a particular focus on SAF supply at the low-fare carrier’s largest bases like Dublin and London Stansted.

At present, however, SAF accounts for a small part of jet fuel usage worldwide. This agreement with Shell will give Ryanair potential access to 360,000 tonnes (120m gallons) of SAF between 2025 and 2030, saving over approx. 900,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions (equiv. to over 70,000 flights from Dublin to Milan).

This agreement ties in with the ambitious sustainable target which Ryanair has set itself of using 12.5% SAF by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Speaking at Ryanair’s Sustainability Day in TCD, Sustainability Director, Thomas Fowler said:

“SAF plays a key role in our Pathway to Net Zero strategy, and also our commitment to a target of 12.5% SAF by 2030. Today’s agreement with Shell helps Ryanair secure access to c.20% of this ambitious goal. Shell is a key sustainability partner for Ryanair, and we look forward to building on this collaboration with Shell as our Group grows sustainably to carry 225m passengers annually by FY26.”

President of Shell Aviation, Jan Toschka, added:

“It is fantastic to build on our existing relationship with Ryanair to now look at what we can achieve together on sustainability. This initial agreement demonstrates that both companies recognise that SAF is the key to unlock a net zero future for aviation. We share the same ambition to enable Ryanair’s passengers to fly lower carbon.”

Rolls-Royce and easyJet set world first with successful hydrogen engine run

By Featured, Sustainability

Rolls-Royce and easyJet have confirmed a world first run of a Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine using hydrogen.  

The ground test was performed on this early concept demonstrator, and took place at an outdoor test facility at MoD Boscombe Down. The green hydrogen used was created by wind and tidal power. Following this early concept ground test, the partnership plans a series of further rig tests leading up to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “This is a real success for our partnership team. We are committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking research because hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including easyJet-sized aircraft.

Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Rolls-Royce, said: “The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone. We only announced our partnership with easyJet in July and we are already off to an incredible start with this landmark achievement.

The partnership is inspired by the global, UN-backed Race to Zero campaign that both companies have signed up to, committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ampaire’s Eco Caravan successfully completes maiden test flight

By Featured, Sustainability

Ampaire’s Eco Caravan, a nine-seat regional aircraft, successfully completed its first flight as a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system.

Expected to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter into commercial service (certification in 2024), the Eco Caravan represents the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircraft that will lead a transition to sustainable aviation.

Ampaire is already working with the FAA to certify the Eco Caravan in 2024 under a supplemental type certificate (STC).

The Eco Caravan upgrades the standard Cessna Grand Caravan with Ampaire’s integrated propulsion system of a compression ignition engine and an electric engine. A battery pack in a body fairing preserves passenger and cargo capacity for the aircraft.

The flight itself took 33 minutes, setting off from Camarillo Airport north of Los Angeles at 07:49 PST, where it climbed to 3,500ft at full power. Twenty minutes of that time was spent testing various power settings and studying temperatures and other readings before making a descent and approach back down to Camarillo.

“The Eco Caravan propulsion system performed just as expected,” said pilot, Elliot Seguin. “It was smooth and quiet. All temperature and power output readings were normal.”

The first in a new generation of sustainable electrified aircraft

The Eco Caravan’s propulsion technology is scalable to larger regional aircraft and, ultimately, to single-aisle airliners. Ampaire plans to rapidly roll out more powerful propulsion systems for larger aircraft, following a building blocks approach that will dramatically improve the sustainability of airline operations.

“As proud as we are of the Eco Caravan, we see it as a first step to larger hybrid-electric propulsions systems and ultimately zero-emission systems as energy storage technology advances,” said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker.

Hybrid Air Vehicles to study airship connections in Scottish Highlands and Islands

By Featured, Sustainability

Hybrid Air Vehicles has announced a new, first of its kind study, to explore the case for using the Airlander 10 aircraft for passenger and freight transport in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

The study, supported by Highlands and Islands Airport (HIAL), the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership, Orkney Island Council, and Scottish regional airline Loganair, will take around three months to complete. It will seek to understand how the Airlander 10 could support sustainable mobility in the region and boost connectivity across the Highland and Islands.

It will also compare emission reductions with existing transport options and assess the opportunities to operate at non-airport locations, taking advantage of the aircraft’s water operation capability.

“Hybrid Air Vehicles are changing the way we think about regional travel and sustainable aviation. This is particularly the case for sometimes hard-to-reach regions such as the Highlands and Islands. This study will, I hope, pave the way for a revolution in green short-haul flights in this wonderful, beautiful, if sometimes inaccessible, part of the world, boosting connectivity and the local economy as we do so,” said Hybrid Air Vehicles’ CEO, Tom Grundy. 

“HIAL’s aim is to become a net-zero carbon regional airport group. To achieve this, we need to investigate innovative solutions for sustainable air travel. This collaboration allows us to explore the potential use of Airlander 10 as part of the region’s transport network. A network that provides essential and lifeline services to some of Scotland’s most remote regions,” said Inglis Lyon, Managing Director at HIAL.

Lufthansa Technik transforms old A320 into field lab for hydrogen tech

By General News, Sustainability

A decommissioned Airbus A320 is being given a new lease of life in the service of science.

The Hydrogen Aviation Lab, Hamburg’s new field laboratory for testing maintenance and ground processes for future hydrogen-powered aircraft, was recently unveiled.

Lufthansa Technik has prepared the aircraft. Over the next few months, the Hydrogen Aviation Lab will be fitted with a full suite of test systems as well as an internal tank for liquid hydrogen and an onboard fuel cell, paired with supporting ground-based hydrogen infrastructure.

Senator Michael Westhagemann comments: “With the Hydrogen Aviation Lab, Hamburg has embarked on a great project. It will make a valuable contribution to enabling the use of hydrogen as a fuel for aviation.

Heart Aerospace and Sevenair sign 35 LOI for up to six ES-30s

By Featured, Regional Turboprops, Sustainability

Heart Aerospace and Portuguese airline Sevenair have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the purchase of three electric ES-30s with an option for an additional three.

Sevenair is a regional airline specialized in public transport and wet lease contracts. It currently operates seven routes in Portugal, all of which can be covered by the ES-30’s.

“Heart Aerospace presented itself to us as a start-up company that combined a strong financial backup with an experienced team and strong industry partners. As members of the Airline Advisory Board we are proud to assist this amazing group in the development of an aircraft that will completely disrupt regional flights,” said Carlos Amaro, Chief Executive of Sevenair.

“With the ES-30, we have designed an airplane that can start cutting emissions from regional air travel before the end of this decade and it is progressive airlines such as Sevenair that make it a reality. We couldn’t be happier to have them as a partner, ” said Anders Forslund, CEO of Heart Aerospace.

With this latest expression of interest, Heart Aerospace now has a total of 230 orders and 100 options for the ES-30, along with LOIs for a further 99 airplanes.

ZeroAvia acquires fuel cell stack innovator HyPoint

By Featured, Sustainability

ZeroAvia has announced its acquisition of HyPoint, a leading fuel cell stack innovator – for an undisclosed sum. 

This acquisition adds HyPoint’s fuel cell technology to ZeroAvia’s mission and expertise with developing the powertrain to enable hydrogen-electric flight. All 40 of the HyPoint team will be integrated into ZeroAvia and work across its R&D locations in the UK.

The two companies have already worked closely together on co-developing and testing HTPEM fuel cell technology as part of ZeroAvia’s powertrain development over the last couple of years.

Val Miftakhov, CEO and Founder, ZeroAvia, said: “We see this as a significant forward step for ZeroAvia, and a hugely important strategic step to strengthen our leadership position in hydrogen-electric powertrain development for aviation. There are no other organizations with the breadth of expertise and world-leading IP in hydrogen-electric aviation that we now have within the company.

Alex Ivanenko, former CEO of HyPoint and newly appointed GM for VTOL and New Segments at ZeroAvia, said: “This acquisition is the natural next chapter in our journey, allowing us to tap into the benefits of the larger and strategic resources that ZeroAvia has to offer. It will accelerate our product development and, as a result, partners from different market segments will get mature products based on novel turbo-air cooled HTPEM hydrogen fuel cells.”

ZeroAvia signs contract with Textron Aviation to develop hydrogen-electric powertrains for the Cessna Grand Caravan

By Featured, Sustainability

ZeroAvia has signed a joint development agreement with Textron Aviation, supporting ZeroAvia’s development of hydrogen-electric, zero-emission powertrains for the Cessna Grand Caravan (208B) aircraft. 

The agreement with Textron Aviation is a welcome addition to prior commitments from other aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators to ZeroAvia’s powertrain technology over the course of the last few months. ZeroAvia is aiming to obtain certification of the 600kW powertrain by 2025, which would then enable customers to offer zero-emission flights.

As the Cessna Grand Caravan is made by Textron Aviation, its design makes it ideal for mounting hydrogen fuel tanks under the wings.

The company is already well underway to retrofitting hydrogen powertrains onto the Dornier 228 aircraft in the Cotswolds, UK. Test flights for this are expected in the next few weeks.

The company is actively developing the market for its ZA600 product with different 9-19 seat airframes, while concurrently developing its ZA2000, 2-5MW engine class for 40-80 seat aircraft with an entry-into-service target of 2027.

Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia, said: “The famous Cessna Grand Caravan is on track to be one the first airframes operating commercial services – both cargo and passenger – with hydrogen-electric, zero-emission engines. We applaud the visionary leadership of Textron Aviation in joining us to help transform a much-loved mainstay of sub-regional aviation into a symbol of sustainable transformation in aviation.”

easyJet invests in multi-million pound aircraft technology to reduce carbon emissions

By Featured, Sustainability

easyJet has announced a multi-million pound investment into the latest aircraft software which will work to help it achieve permeant and sustainable carbon emission reductions by optimising aircraft descents. 

The fleet-wide introduction of Descent Profile Optimisation (DPO) alongside its Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) on all compatible aircraft will deliver fuel and noise reductions. Once the retrofit is complete, the low-fare carrier will have the largest fleet of DPO and CDA enabled aircraft in the world.

The announcement comes as part of easyJet’s roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050, as reducing carbon emissions is the short-term goal and crucial to address its carbon impact right now.

Captain David Morgan, easyJet’s interim COO, said:

“While our ultimate ambition is to achieve zero carbon emission flying, we must continue our focus on reducing the carbon emissions in our operation each and every day. That’s why this multimillion-pound investment is an important step in achieving a permanent reduction in the short-term which will see us operating the largest fleet of DPO & CDA enabled aircraft in the world. But one crucial element to reduce carbon emissions right now cannot be achieved by the industry alone, and so we are also calling on governments to introduce airspace modernisation right now, including finally implementing the Single European Sky.”

Wouter Van Wersch, Airbus’ Executive Vice President, Region and Sales Europe, said: “We are very pleased that easyJet will equip its entire Airbus A320-family-fleet with these state-ofthe-art technologies. Emission reduction in aviation is most successfully achieved as a team effort – aircraft manufacturers joining forces with airlines and air traffic management. By combining the use of DPO and CDA, easyJet will further reduce its fuel consumption while optimising the trajectory of all its flights.”

Ryanair signs SAF deal with OMV

By Featured, Sustainability

Ryanair has signed a MOU with OMV – an integration oil, gas and chemicals company headquartered in Vienna – to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Ryanair airports across Austria, Germany and Romania.

The MOU will give Ryanair unique access to purchase up to 53 gallons of of SAF from OMV over the next eight years, saving over 400,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.

This deal also demonstrates Ryanair’s continued commitment towards its 12.5% SAF by 2030 target.

Ryanair’s Director of Sustainability, Thomas Fowler said:

“SAF plays a key role in our Pathway to Net Zero decarbonisation strategy in which we have committed to increasing our use of SAF over the coming years – a commitment that this deal with OMV will help move further forward. OMV is a key partner for Ryanair in Austria, Germany and Romania and we look forward to growing this partnership as Europe’s largest airline Group.”

 Nina Marczell, OMV Vice President Aviation, Fuels Distributors & Public Sector:

“We are committed to reducing our own carbon footprint as well as supporting our customers in reducing theirs. This Memorandum of Understanding is a great opportunity to accelerate both companies’ sustainability efforts. Sustainable aviation fuel significantly reduces CO2 emissions, and we are delighted to collaborate with a strong partner like Ryanair and to provide solutions for the sustainable development of the aviation industry.”