$100 Million Investment Into Sustainable Jet Technology

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is providing $100 million in contracts to eight manufacturers in order to develop new jet technology to lower emissions, noise and fuel consumption. This is the second phase of the FAA’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN II) program. This five-year program will be a continuation of the original CLEEN program that began in 2010. The goal is to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly commercial aircraft that will not only protect the environment but add to the overall economy.

The companies selected include Aurora Flight Sciences; The Boeing Co.; General Electric Aviation; Delta TechOps/MDS Coating Technologies/America’s Phenix; Honeywell Aerospace; Pratt & Whitney; Rolls-Royce-Corp.; and Rohr Inc./UTC Aerospace Systems.

These companies will match or exceed the initial investment which will bring the total to at least $200 million. They will work on creating a new air frame and engine concepts. The new designs will be tested in hopes of bringing the new sustainable technology to market.

Guidelines for the program include: (Information provided by bit.ly/1igGUDJ)

  • Reducing fuel burn by 40 percent relative to the most efficient aircraft in service during the year 2000;
  • Cutting nitrogen oxide emissions during takeoff and landing by 70 percent over the 2011 International Civil Aviation Organization standard without increasing other emissions;
  • Lowering noise levels by 32 decibels (dBs) relative to the FAA Stage 4 noise standard; and
  • Expediting the commercialization of “drop-in” sustainable jet fuels through support for the fuel approval process.

Without the FAA partnering up with private manufacturers these kinds of innovations may never come to the market. This is a valiant attempt on the FAA and the manufacturers part to continuously pursue a more sustainable aircraft.  There were over 102,000 commercial flights per day according to http://www.garfors.com/2014/06/100000-flights-day.html and this number is only growing. This kind of traffic can cause irreparable harm to the environment and reducing the fuel consumption and emissions can continue to make air travel more sustainable.

The technology that was developed during the first CLEEN program is expected to hit the market in 2016. The FAA has hopes of bringing the new technologies that will be developed during the CLEEN II program to reach the market in 2026. There is an impressive amount of money being invested into developing these new technologies and hopes are high.

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