Gulfstream Ups Sustainability Drive with Bio Fuel Flights
Gulftream is the first original manufacturer to fly its demonstration aircraft, including the G450, using bio fuels
Jet setters worrying about offsetting their carbon footprints will be pleased with this news. The aviation industry is taking the issue of achieving carbon neutrality seriously.
In end October, a little over a year after American conglomerate Honeywell debuted its Green Jet Fuel on a transatlantic flight to the Paris Air Show, Gulfstream became the first manufacturer to fly its demonstration aircraft - the G150, G280, G450, G550 and G650 - to Orlando, Florida, for an annual aviation convention on bio fuels. The planes were powered by a 50/50 blend of the same green jet fuel and petrol-based fuel from Gulfstream base in Savannah, Georgia.
The second generation bio-fuel is made from camelina, a sustainable non-food plant that can be grown in rotation with wheat and other cereal plants. And according to life cycle analysis reports cited by Gulfstream, with each gallon of camelina-based Honeywell Green Jet Fuel burned, carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions can be cut by 68 per cent.
"This is a first for business aviation and it reflects Gulfstream's ongoing commitment to sustainable practices," Scott Neal, Gulfstream's senior vice president for sales and marketing said in a statement.
Gulfstream hopes to achieve industry goals, including going carbon neutral by 2020 and an overall reduction in carbon emissions of 50 per cent by 2050 (relative to 2005 levels).
Yet these changes will be slow to come. Jason Akovenko, Gulfstream's regional vice president for the Asia/Pacific says lack of widespread delivery and low production mean it will be some time before the bio fuels become a viable fuel source for consistent use among airlines and private fliers.
Gulfstream is also working on improving aircraft efficiencies. Akovenko adds, "Environmental stewardship is a priority for Gulfstream Aerospace. Toward that end, our engines, both main and auxiliary, are progressively more environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient."