AviaDev Africa provides perfect platform to support connectivity to and within the continent

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While June has already been packed with aviation events, the end of the month will see airport and airline executives as well as suppliers heading to Cape Town for AviaDev Africa, which is set to deliver more than 300 route development meetings.

The event, which provides a perfect networking platform for airports, airlines and suppliers, such as Airbus, Swissport, Boeing, Embraer, SITA and Rolls Royce, is taking place at Century City in Cape Town, South Africa from 29 June to 1 July. This year will mark the sixth edition of the networking event which is themed: Connect. Collaborate. Change.

Commenting on the upcoming event Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access, noted, “We look forward to welcoming our industry delegates to Cape Town and the Western Cape. We thank AviaDev for the opportunity to showcase our world-class destination as a business hub at the forefront of essential conversations and collaborations, especially regarding increasing air connectivity within Africa.”

A comprehensive conferencing programme will be held alongside the route development meetings with sessions addressing the role of air cargo and diversifying airport revenues, building airline partnerships, financing African airlines and exploring the opportunities for OEMs. Meanwhile a pre-conference workshop specifically for airports and tourism authorities will focus on the skills needed to drive active route development and what airlines look for when placing a new route.

Underlining his support for aviation in Africa Jon Howell, CEO AviaDev Africa stated: “We have supported the industry through the pandemic with numerous digital engagements and will continue to do so, but it is clear the industry needs to meet and discuss future route development for Africa in person. AviaDev Africa provides the perfect mix between an educational programme, focused pre-arranged route development meetings and industry networking. We are confident that as a result of the event, new relationships will be forged that will deliver the connectivity that Africa deserves.”

Rolls-Royce and Air bp partner on SAF agreement for engine tests

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Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has inked a deal with Air bp for all of aviation fuel supplied for engine testing at the engine manufacturers facilities in Derby and Bristol, UK and Dahlewitz, Germany will be a 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend. Deliveries will begin this summer with the 10% neat SAF element totalling around three million litres a year.

Derived primarily from waste-based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oils the SAF supplied by Air bp will be blended with traditional aviation fuel.

As part of the deal Air bp will also provide the fuel for the first run of the Rolls-Royce UltraFan demonstrator engine, which will be carried out entirely on 100% SAF later this year. The largest aero engine in the world, the UltraFan will deliver improved fuel burn efficiency and 100% SAF capability.

“This agreement delivers on a commitment we made that the fuel for testing and development is a 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend by 2023,” said Chris Cholerton, President – Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce.

“We want to encourage the use of SAF throughout the aviation industry and this agreement is an example of the firm commitments fuel producers require to support their continued production investment.

“I will be proud and excited to see the UltraFan on our state-of-the-art testbed running for the first time on 100% SAF, creating a new chapter in engineering excellence and sustainable aviation history.”

Meanwhile, Air bp’s Global Sustainability Director, Andreea Moyes, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Rolls-Royce to achieve their sustainability goals. As bp transitions to an integrated energy company, we are leveraging our expertise in the sourcing of renewable feedstocks, SAF production, logistics and end customer supply. Our ambition is to be the decarbonisation partner in the aviation industry and we are working at pace to promote SAF availability, accessibility and affordability to support global aviation in realising its low carbon ambitions.”

Luxaviation and Rolls Royce collaborate on AAM operations

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Luxury jet and helicopter service provider, Luxaviation, and engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, have joined forces to lead the development and deployment of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). With both companies sharing a vision of AAM solutions including all-electric and hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as well as fixed-wing commuter aircraft, the agreement is focused on operations, vertiports and surrounding infrastructure to support these new markets.

The partnership, which will look at charging and energy infrastructure for vertiports, maintenance provision for electric aircraft and digital solutions for related applications across AAM will see Rolls-Royce provide electrification solutions, maintenance support services, and digital solutions for Luxaviation Group’s planned network of  vertiports.

Commenting on the partnership, Rob Watston, President of Rolls Royce Electrical said: “Rolls-Royce will be the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems for AAM. WE are delighted to collaborate with Luxaviation who we believe will be a leading player in the AAM industry and that this collaboration will help both partners to be at the forefront of this new market.

“This strategic partnership also leverages capabilities and technology across Rolls-Royce as we develop the electrical power and propulsion systems for eVTOL and commuter aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Christophe Lapierre, Luxaviation’s Head of Strategy and President Business Aviation Support Services said: “Our common vision to enable early adoption by leveraging existing capabilities places this partnership at an advanced position, considerably pushing the evolution of this new industry segment. Our concept is to provide a solution that is agile and in continuous evolution to scale up AAM operations alongside regulatory development pace and market demand.”

With more than 60 years experience in operations, FBO passenger services and hundreds of aircraft under management, Luxaviation has launched various projects promoting the future of AAM. The first deliverable of this partnership will be the creation and implementation of a pilot project outlining electrical solutions.

Rolls-Royce lays claim to world’s fastest all-electric aircraft

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With the pressure on aircraft and engine manufacturers to develop the electric aircraft of the future, Rolls-Royce has inched that bit closer to a podium finish with its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, which it believes is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, having clocked up a maximum speed of 623 kh/h (387.4 (mph).

The aircraft has submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation, which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records – for three world records.

On 16 November, 2021, the aircraft reached a top spped of 555.9km/h (345.4mph) over 3km, smashing the existing record by 213.04km/h (132 mph). Further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330mph) over 15km – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3,000m by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds.

“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) team and Rolls-Royce,” said Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce.”The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market. Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our amibtions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added that the UK Government is “proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft.”

Propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW electric powertrain, the aircraft offers the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. The world record runs also provided important data for future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation.’

 

Rolls-Royce marks a milestone with 100% SAF fuelled flight from Tucson

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Working alongside Boeing and World Energy, Rolls-Royce has marked a milestone in its lower carbon journey having 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 on 19 October with a Trent 1000 engine running solely on 100% SAF. The remaining three RB211 engines ran on standard jet fuel and the flight lasted three hours and 45 minutes before landing back at the same airport having passed over New Mexico and Texas.

Aircraft are currently only certified to operate on a maximum of 50% SAF blended with conventional jet fuel and Rolls-Royce continues to support efforts to certificate non-blended SAF.

The need to increase SAF production was recently recognised by the US Biden administration with the launch of a SAF Grand Challenge to produce 3 billion gallons of the fuel a year by 2030. Th European Commission has also created a ReFuelEU Aviation proposal that would mandate the incorporation of SAF supplied at EU airports. This would increase to 63% by 2050.

“We believe in air travel as a force for cultural good, but we also recognise the need to take action to decarbonise our industry,” said Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Director Product Development and Technology – Civil Aerospace. “This flight is another example of our collaboration across the value chain to make sure all the aircraft technology solutions are in place to enable a smooth introduction of 100% SAF into our industry.”

The test flight was carried out in close collaboration with Boeing, which provided technical support and oversight on aircraft modifications and assurance the aircraft systems would operate as expected with 100% SAF. The low-carbon fuel for the flight was provided by World Energy, the world’s first and America’s only commercial-scale SAF production company.

“We’re grateful for the trailblazing work our partners are doing,” said Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy. “Rolls-Royce’s work to prove the viability of powering the jet engines they make with the 100% renewable SAF we make lays the groundwork for fossil fuel-free flight. This work is incredibly important, and we applaud and appreciate Rolls-Royce for working with us to do it.”