The Anonymous Widower

Rolls-Royce Joins Boeing And World Energy For Successful 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel Flight

The title of this post, is the same as that of this Press Release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce, working with Boeing and World Energy, has carried out a successful test flight of its 747 Flying Testbed aircraft using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on a Trent 1000 engine.

The aircraft flew from Tucson airport in Arizona, passing over New Mexico and Texas, with a Trent 1000 engine running solely on 100% SAF while the remaining three RB211 engines ran on standard jet fuel, arriving back at the airport three hours and 54 minutes later. Initial indications confirm there were no engineering issues, providing further proof of the fuel’s suitability for commercial use.

Until new zero-carbon technology is developed, which possibly uses hydrogen as a fuel, I believe that Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the best route that the world can take to cut the carbon emissions from flying.

October 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce’s All-Electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ Takes To The Skies For The First Time

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the first paragraph.

We are pleased to announce the completion of the first flight of our all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft. At 14:56 (BST) the plane took to the skies propelled by its powerful 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. This is another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Rolls-Royce also published an album of photographs, of which this is one.

Note that the motor was designed and made by Yasa.

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Velocys Welcomes US Government SAF Policy Support

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on London South East.

This is the first paragraph.

Velocys plc – Oxford, England-based fuels technology company – Welcomes US government announcement last week of a set of comprehensive new policy actions in support for Sustainable Aviation Fuel production in the US. Notes Velocys is cited in a White House briefing paper setting out the Biden administration’s plans to incentivise commercial scale supply of SAF in the US to meet decarbonisation objectives while stimulating economic growth.

I hope that being cited by the White House is a good thing.

I do think though, that Velocys have the technology, that could help us to keep flying until hydrogen-powered aircraft are developed.

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli All-Electric Plane Maker Readies For 1st Flight, New ‘Age Of Aviation’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Times of Israel.

It is a comprehensive progress report on the Eviation Alice.

The big news is that the first flight is expected before the end of the year.

September 13, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The London And Edinburgh Travel Market

This paragraph comes from of this article on Railway Gazette.

Lumo is aiming to carry more than 1 million passengers per year. It is particularly targeting people who currently fly between Edinburgh and London; in June it says there were 74 764 air journeys on the route, compared to 82 002 by rail.

Lumo’s million passengers per year, will equate to around 83,300 passengers per month.

What these figures don’t show is the number of rail journeys made to intermediate stations like Newcastle, York, Doncaster and Peterborough.

These are a few thoughts.

Rail Capacity Between London And Edinburgh

Consider.

  • LNER is currently the only rail carrier offering a daytime service between London and Edinburgh.
  • LNER run approximately 26 trains per day (tpd) in both directions between London and Edinburgh.
  • A nine-car Class 801 train can carry 510 Standard Class passengers and 101 First Class passengers.

That means that LNER had a capacity of just over 950,000 seats in June.

It might seem poor to have only sold 82,002 seats in June between London and Edinburgh, which is just 8.6 % of the available seats.

On the other hand, LNER’s two trains per hour (tph) are a lot more than London and Edinburgh trains, as they connect towns and cities all the way up the East Coast Main Line between London and Aberdeen.

Lumo’s capacity of a million seats per year, works out at 83,300 seats per month, which is another 8.7 % of capacity.

  • Lumo will sell seats on price initially and I suspect they’ll end up running about 85-95 % full.
  • It has been stated that they need to run 80% full to break even.
  • I also think, that they would like to have a few seats for late bookers.

But even so, they will surely affect LNER’s bookings.

What Will LNER Do?

Several of the things, that Lumo are doing can be easily copied by LNER.

  • Early booking.
  • Improve onboard service.
  • Better seating.

They could even reduce prices.

I think it is very likely we could end up with a price and service war between LNER and Lumo.

Would The Airlines Be The Losers?

This could be an outcome of competition between LNER and Lumo.

We are now talking about times of around four hours and twenty-five minutes between London and Edinburgh, but there are improvements underway on the East Coast Main Line.

  • The remodelling of the approach to Kings Cross station has not been reflected in the timetables.
  • The Werrington Dive Under has not been completed yet.
  • Digital signalling is being installed South of Doncaster.
  • The power supply is being upgraded North of Newcastle.

When these and other improvements are complete, I can see journey times reduced below four hours.

But would that only be for starters?great b

If a 1970s-technology Intercity 225 train, admittedly running as a shortened train formation, could achieve a time of just under three-and-a-half hours for the 393.2 miles between Kings Cross and Edinburgh stations in September 1991, what could a modern Hitachi train do, if all of the improvements had been completed and perhaps half of the route could be run at 140 mph under the watchful eyes of full digital signalling and an experienced driver.

Consider.

  • London and York is nearly two hundred miles of fairly straight railway, that is ideal for high speed.
  • Current trains run the 393.2 miles in four hours 25 minutes, which is an average speed of 89 mph.
  • A train running at 89 mph would take two hours and fifteen minutes to cover 200 miles.
  • A train running at 125 mph would take one hour and thirty-six minutes to cover 200 miles.
  • A train running at 140 mph would take one hour and twenty-six minutes to cover 200 miles.

When Network Rail, Great British Railways or the Prime Minister renames the East Coast Main Line as High Speed East Coast, I think we can be sure that trains between London and Edinburgh will be able to achieve three-and-a-half hours between the two capitals.

High Speed Two is only promising three hours and forty-eight minutes.

What About LNER’s New Trains?

LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, was written to explore the possibilities suggested by a short article in the December 2020 Edition of Modern Railways.

There has been no sign of any order being placed, but Hitachi have moved on.

  • They are building the prototype of the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery for testing on the Great Western Railway.
  • They have completed some of the Class 803 trains for East Coast Trains, which has now been renamed Lumo. These trains have a battery for hotel power in case of catenary failure, but no diesel engines.
  • They are building the Class 807 trains for Avanti West Coast, which appear to be designed for high speed and have no batteries or diesel engines.
  • The latest versions of the trains will have a reshaped nose. Is it more aerodynamic at high speeds?

It does seem that there is an emphasis on speed, better acceleration and efficiency.

  • Could the lessons learned be used to improve the performance of the existing trains?
  • Could a small high performance sub-fleet be created to run LNER’s Scottish services?

There are certainly possibilities, that would cut journey times between London and Edinburgh.

Conclusion

I can see the airlines flying between London and Edinburgh suffering a lot of collateral damage, as the two train companies slug it out.

 

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ryanair Backs Away From Boeing Jet Order

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Ryanair has ended talks to purchase tens of billions of dollars of Boeing jets amid a stand-off over the price.

The Irish budget airline had been in talks to buy as many as 250 planes of the 737 Max 10 model but said yesterday that the talks had collapsed.

But have Michael O’Leary and Boeing fallen out over hydrogen?

Consider.

  • Many countries in Ryanair’s largest markets are aiming to go net carbon-free by 2050 or even earlier. Scotland is aiming for 2045.
  • An airliner delivered today will still be flying twenty or even thirty years later.
  • I believe that by 2030, small airliners up to thirty passengers will be zero-carbon.

In Could An A320 neo Be Rebuilt As A ZEROe Turbofan?, I came to this conclusion.

I very much feel that there will be a route to convert some or all of the A 320 neo aircraft to hydrogen power.

If Airbus can offer an airliner, that can be rebuilt as a hydrogen-powered plane that must change the economics of purchasing a fleet of airliners, which could be made worthless by worldwide carbon emission legislation.

Because the Boeing aircraft is a 1960s design with an aluminium airframe, I would doubt it is designed to be converted to hydrogen power.

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Velocys’ Fischer–Tropsch Tech Picked For E-fuels Project In Japan

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Renewables Now.

Fischer–Tropsch technology has a chequered history, as it has been used by regimes like Nazi Germany and South Africa under apartheid to create the fuel they need.

But now Oxford University spin-out company; Velocys have improved the process, so that it can turn rubbish destined for landfill into sustainable aviation fuel.

This is the last paragraph from the article.

The developer says its FT reactor can enable the production of SAF from household waste and woody biomass. The end product is a high-quality version of existing fuels, requiring no changes to engines or infrastructure, Velocys says on its website.

This is surely a viable alternative to keep airlines flying, until  hydrogen-powered planes are developed.

August 29, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Hybrid-Electric Plane That Will Switch From Passenger To Cargo In 15 Minutes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Simple Flying.

If you are sceptical about the concept of zero-carbon flying, then read this article, which takes the form of an interview with the Managing Director of Faradair.

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

DHL Express Shapes Future For Sustainable Aviation With First Order Of All-Electric Cargo Planes From Eviation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from DHL Express.

They have ordered twelve cargo versions of the Eviation Alice.

  • Planes will be flown by a single pilot.
  • Each plane will be able to carry 1,200 Kg of cargo.
  • Maximum range is up to 815 km.
  • Each flight hour will require thirty minutes of charging.

When you consider Stansted and Charles de Gaulle Airports are 260 kilometres apart, these planes would be able to handle a lot of routes.

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

What Does 2.5 MW Look Like?

This press release on the Rolls-Royce web site is entitled Rolls-Royce Generator Delivered For Most Powerful Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System In Aerospace.

This Rolls-Royce picture shows the generator installed on a test bed.

These are the first three paragraphs of the press release.

The generator that will be at the heart of the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace has arrived for installation at our specialist testbed.

The generator, and related power electronics, was delivered to the newly-renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK, from the Rolls-Royce facility in Trondheim, Norway, having completed an extensive development test programme. It will form part of the 2.5 megawatt (MW) Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator programme, for future regional aircraft. In addition to hybrid-electric propulsion, the generator could also be used as part of a “more-electric” system for larger aircraft or within future ground or marine applications.

PGS1 forms an important element of our sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems.

I must say that as an engineer this 2.5 MW generator really excites me, as I see so many possibilities.

  • I am fairly certain, that the generator can be powered by hydrogen, to create a true zero-carbon power generator.
  • Rolls-Royce mention aerospace, ground and marine applications.
  • The physical size must be an advantage, when it comes to some applications.
  • The gas-turbine technology at the heart of the generator has been well-proven in the Lockheed Super Hercules.

But I do note in the press release that there is no mention of hydrogen or rail for which the generator must be eminently suitable.

  • Rolls-Royce subsidiary; mtu are one of the leading companies, who power large rail locomotives.
  • 2.5 MW is ideal for many rail locomotives.
  • The small size must help integration into a rail locomotive.
  • My calculations show that the generator and a hydrogen tank could be fitted into a typical modern rail locomotive.
  • As electric transmissions can be used, the locomotive could also use electrification.

A lot of these arguments would also apply to the very large trucks used in the mining industries and ships of various sizes.

Conclusion

This Rolls-Royce 2.5 MW Generator will have lots of applications.

July 30, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment