A380 makes first flight on alternative fuel
The new Airbus A380 superjumbo has made the first commercial flight using synthetic liquid fuel processed from gas.
The three hour flight between Filton in the UK and Toulouse in France demonstrates Airbus commitment to working with more environmentally friendly fuels.
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, comments Airbus president and CEO, Tom Enders.
The test flight was made using the A380 as it is the most modern and most fuel efficient aircraft flying today, says Airbus. 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, the company said in a press statement.
Airbus is working in collaboration with Shell, Rolls Royce, petroleum companies in Qatar and Qatar Airways to test synthetic jet fuel processed from gas. This is the first step of a long-term Airbus testing phase to evaluate viable and sustainable alternative fuels for the future, says the press statement.
GTL (gas to liquids) fuel is said to benefit local air quality and is virtually free of sulphur. Airbus is hoping to establish what the best alternative fuel options are and how they will benefit the environment.
The new double decker A380 made its first commercial flight between Singapore and Sydney in October. Singapore Airlines will begin operating the A380 on flights from Heathrow to Singapore in March.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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