Boeing, NASA & United Airlines partner to test SAF benefits

Boeing, NASA & United’s tests have the potential to show what our transition to SAF can provide beyond GHG reductions, shares United CSO Lauren Riley

Air travel is widely seen as one of the least sustainable options — however, for both freight and distance passenger travel it is often necessary. 

Boeing is partnering with NASA and United Airlines for in-flight testing to measure how sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) affects contrails and non-carbon emissions, in addition to reducing the fuel's life cycle climate impact.

The collaboration, which aims to strengthen sustainability in aviation, looks to understand how advanced fuels, engine combustor designs and other technologies may reduce atmospheric warming.

"We are honored to collaborate with NASA, United Airlines, and other valued partners on research that will strengthen the industry's understanding of the benefits of SAF beyond reducing carbon emissions," says Chris Raymond, Boeing’s Chief Sustainability Officer. 

"We've solved hard problems before, and if we continue to take meaningful actions, I'm confident we'll achieve a more sustainable aerospace future, together."

Sustainable developments in action

Boeing's second ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 737-10 destined for United Airlines, will fly with 100% SAF and conventional jet fuel in separate tanks and alternate fuels during testing. NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Lab will fly behind the commercial jet and measure emissions produced by each type of fuel and contrail ice particles. NASA satellites will capture images of contrail formation as part of the testing.

"This collaboration between Boeing, NASA and United has the potential to not only help us better understand contrails but to provide the full scope of what our transition to SAF can provide beyond greenhouse-gas reductions," said United Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Riley.

For example, tests will assess how SAF affects the characteristics of contrails, the persistent condensation trails produced when airplanes fly through cold, humid air. While their full impact is not yet understood, some research has suggested certain contrails can trap heat in the atmosphere.

"Flight testing is complex and resource-intensive, yet it's the gold standard for understanding how sustainable aerospace innovations affect changes in contrails and climate," says Rich Wahls, NASA mission integration manager for the Sustainable Flight National Partnership.

"This is why we're bringing NASA's DC-8 to bear on this collaboration, where the valuable flight data will improve our predictive models."

*********************************************

For more energy insights check out the latest edition of Energy Digital Magazine and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter.

You may also be interested in Sustainability Magazine and EV Magazine

*********************************************

BizClik is a global provider of B2B digital media platforms that cover Executive Communities for CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, Sustainability Leaders, Procurement & Supply Chain Leaders, Technology & AI Leaders, Cyber Leaders, FinTech & InsurTech Leaders as well as covering industries such as Manufacturing, Mining, Energy, EV, Construction, Healthcare + Food & Drink.

BizClik – based in London, Dubai, and New York – offers services such as Content Creation, Advertising & Sponsorship Solutions, Webinars & Events.

Share

Featured Articles

Q&A with National Grid Partners Director Raghuram Madabushi

With more money being put behind clean and climate tech companies, National Grid Partners’ Raghu Madabushi shares how they will pave the way to net zero

Q&A: ENGIE Impact’s Exec MD for EMEA & APAC Mark Chadwick

Companies must look forward and devise strategies to decarbonise their operations. ENGIE Impact’s 2024 Net Zero report shares their ambitions vs. actions

Mercedes F1 Team first in motorsport to sign Climate Pledge

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 have become the first motorsport team to sign The Climate Pledge, committing to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040

Onward: Shell Launches Trailblazing Global Climate Tech

Sustainability

Bechtel & Westinghouse Unite for European Nuclear Power

Renewable Energy

Swedish Power Company Vattenfall Celebrates 115 years

Utilities