The American aircraft giant Boeing has said that by 2030, it aims to build commercial planes that are capable and certified to fly totally on sustainable aviation fuels.
The announcement comes just months after its European rival Airbus said that by 2035, its aircraft will run only on hydrogen-based fuels creating zero emissions.
Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality, partnering globally with airlines, industry, governments, and research institutions to expand limited supplies and reduce the fuels’ cost.
Boeing worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011.
In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.
Sustainable aviation fuels can be made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including non-edible plants, agricultural and forestry waste, non-recyclable household waste, industrial plant off-gassing and other sources.
Airbus relies on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which the company believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.
It has unveiled three concepts – codenamed ZEROe. One is a 200-passenger turbofan with a range of 3,200 kilometres, one a short-haul turboprop – 100 passengers for 1600 kilometres and finally a blended-wing concept, again for long haul.
The race for green air travel is gathering momentum.