Pontifications: The soup du jour

March 14, 2022, © Leeham News: You might call it the soup du jour.

By Scott Hamilton

EcoAviation is all over the place at aviation conferences these days. It was a key topic at last October’s Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Likewise at last month’s annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA). EcoAviation also was an element of the Speed News conference in Los Angeles early this month and at another event the following week. Investor Day events now routinely include ecoAviation discussion.

This is all well and good, but at last, some key members of the industry are putting caution and realism to the pie-in-the-sky stuff that is sucking up investment like the Dot Com era a few decades ago. Only a few ideas and technologies will be successful.

Research and Development is good

Don’t get us wrong. At Leeham Co., we are all for Research and Development. We also recognize that out of failures there is often success. Baby steps are necessary.

But goals set by IATA to achieve net carbon neutral by 2050 and significant use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by certain dates in between. Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, told IATA at the AGM, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” Steve Udvar-Hazy, the chairman of Air Lease Corp, said last week at a conference that the chances of commercial aviation reaching net-zero carbon by 2050 are “none” and “nil.”

At the Speed News conference March 2-4, Adam Klauber of World Energy advocated a voluntary approach to SAF. LNA believes there must be regulatory mandates, but this aside, Klauber suggests that by 2030, 16% of the airline fuel can come from biofuels and 2% from synthetic SAF. By 2050, the target IATA set for net-zero carbon emissions from commercial aviation, Klauber suggests the ratio will be 45% and 33%. Twenty percent will still come from carbon-based fuel, he said.

With proactive volunteerism, he suggests that by 2050, the ratio can reach 24% and 48% for SAF. Klauber suggests that by 2050, 3% of commercial aviation will be battery-powered and 25% of the flights will be fueled by hydrogen.

The total cost to reach net-zero emissions is estimated to be “at least” $8.5tr, Klauber said. He did not discuss except in the highest level where this money will come from. Clark, the Emirates president, and other industry officials said government subsidies and tax breaks must be part of it.

Batteries, Hybrid, and Hydrogen

Some in aviation who should know better (and probably do) and others outside the industry like to equate hybrid or pure battery-powered cars to airplanes, suggesting that the technology is transferrable.

Yes and no.

Conceptually, yes. But the energy and safety required for commercially viable airline flights go way beyond where today’s technology is today. And when a battery-powered Nissan Leaf or hybrid Toyota Prius runs low on battery mid-trip, pulling off the road is a safe alternative. If a battery-powered airplane runs low, finding a place to land isn’t always a safe option.

Ensuring safety for batteries is another challenge. We’ve seen Teslas and battery-powered buses spontaneously burst into flames, sometimes simply parked. There’s a real emergency if a battery in an airplane bursts into flames. Lithium-Ion batteries have done so on aircraft. In the case of the Boeing 787, the Japan Air Lines plane was parked on the ramp in Boston, and nobody was hurt. In the case of a UPS cargo Boeing 747 freighter transporting a load of these batteries crashed while it was trying to make an emergency landing. A couple of today’s experimental battery-powered airplanes crashed. One killed its occupants.

Hydrogen offers what appears to be clean fuel. But contrails are emitted, and science isn’t totally sure about the effect of contrails on the atmosphere. There are also the problems of designing an airplane for safe passenger operation, including the prospect of crashes, and the trades of H2 vs Jet A. then there are the infrastructure and production challenges.

New engines

SAF is viewed by many as the surest near-term solution to reducing emissions. Cost, feedstock, supplies, and production remain unclear, however. This brings us back to engines.

Today’s engines are superior to yesterday’s. Yesterday’s engines are superior to last month’s. Last month’s engines are superior to last year’s engines. But what about tomorrow’s engines?

GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce had and continue to have Performance Improvement Packages (PIPs) that reduce fuel burn and with it, cut emissions. But PIPs are incremental steps. A percent here, a percent there. Sometimes only half a percent.

PW told me last October it can get perhaps another 10% out of the GTF by 2031. This sounds ambitious on its face, but I don’t know what I don’t know about their internal studies. CFM claims its Open Fan RISE engine will be ready for service by 2035, with a 20% reduction in fuel and emissions. PW is skeptical of the Open Fan, which is to be expected. But it’s not alone. There are plenty of people who don’t believe all the technological, safety, and design issues are solvable any time soon—and then there’s the passenger acceptance of what amounts to a giant turboprop.

At its Investors Day, GE Aviation said flight testing of the RISE engine can begin in mid-decade.

New Airplane

So, this brings us to the $15bn question: will Boeing roll the dice for a new airplane with an EIS of ~2030 and a 10% fuel burn/emissions reduction? Or will it roll the dice to wait for the RISE test flights and early results before launching a new airplane program with an Open Fan—a design concept Boeing’s Wise Man, Joe Sutter, once said would never see the light of day on a Boeing airplane?

Bets, anyone?

137 Comments on “Pontifications: The soup du jour

  1. Now even the car carriers shipping EVs around world are catching fire… More often

    Missed in the story is the RR ULTRAFAN , which is also is a geared turbo fan, with. Huge 148 in front fan diameter and now has it’s gearbox complete and being shipped to test site in UK. Apparently the technology is scalable down as well.

    • This is straight-up FUD, I’m afraid.

      Sorry I can’t quote the exact figures from the top of my head but I have read studies of statistics showing that the number of vehicle fires per km for battery vehicles is an order of magnitude LOWER than for internal combustion engined vehicles.

    • “Car carrier fires and the associated risks with Electric Vehicle transportation”


      On the MV Honor in February 2017, a fire in the upper vehicle deck was attributed to a fault in the starter motor solenoid in one of the vehicles being transported. The fire led to extensive damage to the Honor’s vehicle decks as well as its cargo of about 5,000 vehicles.

      In May 2018, a fire started on the 11th deck of the Auto Banner. The fire was alleged to have been caused by the over-heating of one of the used vehicles on board. The fire was cooled by helicopters dropping water from the air and more than 40 fire engines spraying the hull. The entire crew of 28 were safely evacuated without any reported injuries.

      Grande America suffered a fire in March 2018 and subsequently developed a starboard list, causing it to capsize and sink in a depth of around 4,600 metres. The resulting oil spill stretched for 10km and the ship was carrying 2,000 cars and 365 containers, of which 45 were deemed to hold hazardous substances.

      Sincerity Ace caught fire in the Pacific on New Year’s Eve 2018 with more than 3,500 cars onboard. The crew had to abandon the vessel, and whilst 16 crew were rescued, five tragically died as a result of the incident.

      In June 2019, Diamond Highway had to be abandoned by its crew in the South China Sea, due to fire, whilst carrying 6,354 cars. Thankfully, all 25 crew were rescued.

      Ship carrying ICE vehicles also have frequent fires, no dispute that battery fires are hard to put out, but all aircraft fires are hard to put out.

      Vehicles catch fire frequently and aircraft almost never catch fire (unless its the cargo, or an uncontained engine failure). The difference is in the quality of the engineering and the quality controls (787 batteries excepted).

      I am confident that by the time batteries make it into commercial air transport the safety issues will be resolved. I am also confident, and agree with Bjorn that battery powered aircraft are a long way off, but I don’t think the solution will be using a fuel with a very low specific energy content by volume.

      It makes sense to convert the fuel into an easily handled liquid that leverages all the existing ground facilities, all existing engineering, and does not require a major re-design of the aircraft.

  2. Fossil fuels is what makes modern civilisation possible. The proxy war being fought today in Ukraine is a direct consequence of “Net Zero” policies and such horrors are only the beginning.

    In accepting, pandering to or voting in support of such insanity you are party to it. Are you not entertained?


    • correct.

      In the process
      We also squandered resources accumulated over 400million years in a century and a half.

      Carbon from Biomass sequestered from the faster circulation mechanisms ( atmosphere, fresh biomass )
      has been instrumental in creating today’s climate.

      IMU we haven’t seen the prolonged impact of returning that carbon stash to circulation.

    • >Fossil fuels is what makes modern civilisation possible.

      “makes” should be “made”. Coal and easy to access oil jumpstarted us but there are plenty of energy alternatives that will like us live a life not much different from today
      * denser cities
      * more transit
      * nuclear
      * solar/hydro/wind
      * hydrogen and other technologies for storage
      * greater efficiency in lots of areas

      Not of those changes are without cost, perhaps great cost, and some changes may make like less convenient but it will still generally look the same as today.

        • I am regularly suprised to see people excessing for profits but absolutely nothing else.

          This IMHO is not “innovation” but “dumb plundering”. lack of ideas and will.
          ( understandable: a vast continent allowed to just move on from your major missteps. Next lush green valley waits. .. or not. what is it with fresh water supply around California.?)

          • What the neo-classical economists
            have previously dismissed as “externalities” are now proving not to be so –

            Soo-prize soo-prize, as Gomer Pyle used to say..

    • Certainly people that are arrogant, psychopathic, dishonest, inefficient and violent have grained power and influence due to the presence of oil and gas under their control. Without it someone that was able to harness a society and economic order to work together efficiently might be in charge.
      Foreign aid can do the same harm if as is so often the case it empowers a “Mercedes Elite” of middlemen distributors of wealth rather than producers.
      One thing we have learned from the theories of socio-biology and evolutionary psychology is that if a resources is concentrated and easy to get we humans, as animals, will find it easier to either fight over it violently or develop parasitic psychological or social methods to ‘harvest’ the resource. Become and efficient ruminant and see predators evolve.
      One thing ‘renewables’ and nuclear promised was such a distribution of energy it would ‘democratise’ its availability.
      It seems to me that renewables, likely solar, wind and a combination of energy storage through hydrogen will get us to the point that most nations, even Europe will be able to meet their electrical needs and hearting needs.
      This will leave parts of the transport and chemicals sector still dependant on imports but they will be more widely distributed. Eg we could get liquidifed hydrogen from Australia, Saudi Arabia or Sth Africa.

      • “One thing we have learned from the theories of socio-biology and evolutionary psychology is that if a resources is concentrated and easy to get we humans, as animals, will find it easier to either fight over it violently or develop parasitic psychological or social methods to ‘harvest’ the resource. ”

        Are you saying that Politics is a way to extract resources from Citizens?

  3. “We’ve seen Teslas and battery-powered buses spontaneously burst into flames, sometimes simply parked.”

    Fact: Electric Vehicles are involved in fires orders of magnitude less often then liquid fueled vehicles. (factors of over 100x less). This could suggest that electric aircraft would be less at risk of fire than a liquid fueled aircraft. Of course the reality is that engineering has largely eliminated aricraft fuel/oil fires except when there are failures that break lines etc.

    I have not seen an analysis of the fuel system dev costs of H2, plus the leakage, plus compression losses plus CAPEX and if it outweighs the cost of turning H2 into a liquid SAF.

    JetA is 12kWh per kg, and electricity can cost as little as US$0.03c/kWh when intermittent and renewable. This suggests a SAF energy cost of ~$0.36c /kg – throw in end-to-end efficiency of say 30% to make the SAF and we are still under $1.50 / kg.

    There are significant engineering costs to solve in both pathways, but my bets are: All vehicles will be battery, large ships will be nuclear, aircraft will be SAF. Industrial energy will be a mix of renewable, bio fuels and nuclear.

    • In talking about vehicle fires, it’s important to concentrate on *spontaneous* fires. Of course a petrol-driven vehicle can catch fire if it is involved in a collision and/or if the engine overheats sufficiently, but how many petrol-driven vehicles just spontaneously ignite the way EVs do? Spontaneous ignition is totally unacceptable in the context of aviation.
      Also: EV fires tend to be more ferocious than fires in petrol-driven vehicles, due to the battery chemistry involved. They can also re-ignite after being extinguished.


      • derelict fuel hoses spraying fuel on hot exhausts
        is a rather popular method to burn your car.
        Higher incidence than crash related fires.
        ( But overall petrol related fires are rare. Hollywood’s car explosions are a fantasy. )

    • From CNBC

      -> Experts are still trying to determine EV fire incident rates; the data is hard to collect from disparate fire departments. Fleet Auto News reported that 2019 London Fire Brigade records suggest, based on a small local sampling, “an incident rate of *0.04% for petrol and diesel car fires*, while the *rate for plug-in vehicle is more than double at 0.1%*.”

      You can’t compare the rate of fires of comparatively young electric vehicles (what’s the average age of EVs on the road vs. the average age of all vehicles on the road) with average ICE vehicles (which includes many commercial vehicles, tractor trailers etc.) which is much older.

  4. I get the impression of a lack of ambition. If aviation can achieve 78% carbon neutral fuels by 2050 (Kleber quote above), it should be able to get down the journey a lot faster than that, even if it never gets to full net zero.

  5. My bet is there will be a battery electric regional aircraft type certified by 2035. (relatively short range and nil belly cargo capability) Highly useful in some networks for certain routes.

    The prediction of Adam Klauber of 3 % of RPK being battery powered by 2050 seems quite fair to me.

    • A battery-powered aircraft does nothing to reduce emissions unless the facility where it is recharged is powered by green electricity.
      The world hasn’t even managed to replace its *current* electricity generation by 100% sustainable sources, not to mind the *huge* extra demand that will be created by fossil fuel replacement.

  6. I think H2 will come when Natural Gas pipelines are at least 50% H2 and you need to accept that 50% of that is made by natural gas (Blue hydrogen). Then you need separation systems and LH2 production at airports. The power for all this seems to come from new 15MW sea based windmills from Vestas, GE, Siemens.. but they are just starting and you need several 100’s installed to make a difference in good locations. The dark horse is fusion power and small nuclear reactors, to get those developed and certified is another 10-20 years away. Making algae grow in desert salt water ponds have many benefits but you need 100 000 acres of them to make a dent (besides it can give much needed rain in dry areas) and careful management of each pond. So wind power and new engine designs optionally fueled by LH2 or SAF can maybe start operate around 2035. The big effect would be a ban on coal (like it was succefully on freon) but it is hard to get an OK in China & India.

    • SCOTT SAID ” Hydrogen offers what appears to be clean fuel. But contrails are emitted, and science isn’t totally sure about the effect of contrails on the atmosphere.”

      UHHH The byproduct of hydrogen and o2 combustion is water> Given a particular combinatoion of moisture and temperature, the result is ‘ steam’ eg water vapor eg clouds. Contrails are emitted by many planes dependenat on atmosphere conditions and ‘ hot air’ from exhaust or speed thru air.

      B2 designers were worried about contrails- and had designed a chemical release to avid them. Too corrosive and was dropped. better method was to use onboard instrumentation to determine if conttrail was formed and simply change speed/altitude to avoid.

      • More science needed on contrails formation, I was annoyed before of the contrails forming over the French Alps making a clear day skiing not so clear. I think the water vapor needs soot particles to start building contrails and if there is no soot it should be much harder for the water vapor to start forming contrails.

        • The Aluminium Air battery probably the only practical emissions free flight. The battery is likely to get the density needed for 1000nmi flights. The electrodes need to be replaced as cartridges but their ‘recycling’ seems very efficient, much better than SAF or H2 production.

      • Unfortunately the combustion process in the real world also produces NO2… unavoidable when our atmosphere is 78% nitrogen.

        • -Isotope research in the artic has shown that the NOX emitted in California is coming from nitrate fertiliser overuse/misuse rather than internal combustion engines or diesels. Certainly the diesel and VW as well are kind of innocent. Basically they were blamed for the entirety of a problem they are only a small part of.
          -Likewise decades earlier pine forest die back was blamed on acid rain supposedly caused by sulphur from power station emissions. That also turns out to have been caused by agriculture. There has been no public emission by the agencies and protest groups involved that they got it wrong.
          -Certainly the various types of engine and power plant emissions need to be improved but allowing this ‘piling on’ of attacks means that we end up talking of flight restrictions, aviation taxes while not dealing with the real problems which is in a different arena. Better fertiliser use and tillage is needed.

      • Interesting re comments about contrails and now nitrous oxide, yada yada
        a) Nitrous oxide – virtually any-every combustion of fuels in our environment /atmosphere deal with nitrogen. But percentages of N2O from combustion are a function of combustion temperature- higher temps, more nitrous. Lower temps less nitrous, BUT with carbon based fuels, lower temps more carbon particles ( smoke )
        So how did we ‘ remove ‘ smoke ‘ trials for jet engines? Higher temps which results in more nitrous, etc. Of course H2-o2 and air fuel cells are low temp- little N2. And so it goes.

        b)my comment about electrical load dumps was not pushing wind power/solar power issues. But rather the problems with backup/load sharing. Currently backups for solar/wind are mostly existing power plants ( oil/gas) running well off design loads since they need to be instantly available when sun goes behind clouds, or wind drops,etc. When sun is too bright, extra power must be diverted somewhere- Calif has to give away power on some days. small nuke plants like french are a reasonable alternative- except for the greenies in U.S. – but they also need to include load dump issues. NUFF

        • With regard to your point (a), atmospheric NOx is considered to be a problem because it is a precursor to (nitric) acid rain. However, ammonia (NH3) is also a precursor to (nitric) acid rain, and it’s produced in gargantuan quantities in the intestines of ruminants and by nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil. Tellingly, those latter sources are rarely mentioned by those complaining about industry/transport-associated nitrogen production.

          • And in hot weather- pinetrees give off lots of’ bad’ hydrocarbons- enough to exceed california pollution standards for auto engines. So the obvious solutions are to burn all the pine related an fir trees?damm mother nature again. Obvious this planet ‘ in the day’ could never have survived even beforewe crawled out of the ocean and started tom walk upright and somehow survived an ice age, a hot spell or two. Perhaps the greenies should go back to caves, kill all the fur animals to keep warm and relearn how to swim in the ocean as it rises to sink the the continents. Happened once before.
            That discussion belongs elsewhere -and aerospace industry will not go back to waxen wings

          • But (and here I’m recalling from memory aerospace engineering uni courses in the 1990s) the effect of aircraft producing NOx and various other pollutants high in the atmosphere is orders of magnitude worse than when these are released at ground level – they interact differently with and have more influence on the purer air at altitude and they tend to persist at altitude, while that produced at ground level gets reacted of existence quite quickly.

    • Nuclear fusion has been said to be “10-20 years away” for about forty years now. 😉

      It’s Techno-utopianism.. and also a centralizing technology, when what will be needed is locally scaled and decentralized.

  7. Unfortunately, the ideals of switching to more sustainable energy production are subordinate to real-life practicalities on the ground.

    “China To Expand Coal Use As It Prioritizes Energy Security”


    The world can use all the EVs, SAF and LH2 that it wants, but the environmental sustainability of such a transition will essentially be zero while fossil fuels are being used as the backbone of national grids.

  8. IMO we need to have a look at the renewable, bio fuels, SAF and see how sustainable and environmental clean they are bottom line. Same goes for real produced quantity (depressing), continuity of supply and practical, responsible storage of electricity, energy.

    We tend to turn blind eyes everywhere these days because people feel the urgency (justified IMO) and there are billions available everywhere that must be spend to makes us feel good. And greedy industries.

    E.g. If a solar panel is flown in 900km/h 4500Nm from China, build from Al out of S America, melted with coal from Australia, how “sustainable” is it the moment I put it on my roof? Should I feel good, ignore reality? Some goes for wind energy, we have to get bluntly honest, not stupid happy.

    • Great point, Keesje.
      Everything comes with an environmental price tag before it’s installed, and also comes with hidden environmental price tags after installation.
      For example, nobody talks about the huge power grid upgrade that will be necessary as distributed wind turbines and solar panels continue to pop up in (urban) areas where they were never foreseen. All that copper has to be mined, processed, transported and installed. That entails a huge CO2 footprint. That whole process is unnecessary if existing power stations are replaced by new thorium salt reactors, or other concentrated (rather than distributed) generating means.

      • Excellent points- since noone wants to look at the NET ” energy” ” savings” when prattling on re windmills, solar, electric, transportation, mining, processing, etc.

        For example take a common but incomplete argument re aluminum being lightweight, strong, etc adnaseaum.
        Simplified net calculation for NET should include

        1) mining of ore
        2) smelting,
        3) rolling, forging
        4) transportation of stock material, etc
        5) machining/welding etc

        Mining uses a lot of electricity and diesel fuel- blasting, ore carriers, etc
        Smelting – such much electricity that hydropower is the only real suitable power supply ( grand coulee dam for example ) Ditto for steel- but a lot of oil-gas-derived power is used depending on location, etc.

        So when one adds up ALL the energy used just to make a hydrogen tank, battery, steel, aluminum, titanium, cobalt, lead, tungsten, etc used in a ‘vehicle ” plus delivery issues, train,pipeline,ocean ships, etc- the real gains may only turn positive after a decade or two or three.

        Fusion works- but commercially viable-been “next decade “for at least 50 years that I am aware of.And even then NET plus probably another several decades.
        About when the pontiff has twins

        • -Some of these industries will ‘decarbonise’ progressively. For instance ammonia, the core of the explosives that we need for mining and fertilisers can be made from ‘green’ hydrogen and electricity. Iron ore can be smelted with hydrogen. Transportation will decarbonise etc. The mining industry needs power for its mineral processing plants, haulage trucks and earth moving machinery (excavators, loaders) to shift both ore and over burden.
          -A competitor for SAF type fuels will be the mining and construction industries due to the need to use earth moving machinery.
          Previous experiments with diesel engines in hydrogen and diesel operation have shown that 40–70% of the diesel, depending on the power level of the engine, could be substituted by hydrogen at full load while up to 97% of the diesel could be substituted by hydrogen at idle and part load.
          At present, the daily use of diesel fuel in a haul truck in a relevant mine in Chile is 3200 liters, which contains energy equivalent to 941 kg of hydrogen. If the truck ran in dual-fuel operation with a substitution rate of 60%, the daily need for hydrogen would be 564 kg, substituting 1917 liters of diesel. With a buffer and the potential to increase the diesel substitution rate to 75%, a storage of 700 kg of hydrogen could be installed on the haul truck which would further increase the potential to reduce emissions.
          -Diesel engines that use 100% hydrogen are also possible.

          • Diesel engines (and indeed gas turbines) that use 100% Hydrogen are commercially available already. The problem is not the technology it’s the cost of the fuel. Transport will have to compete with grid stabilization for this resource.

          • @Sonik, I was thinking of producing the H2 on site.
            -Perhaps half of the mining industry operates of grid using diesel powered generators for operation of the ore concentrator plant which uses large amounts of energy crushing and grinding the ore and then separating it into concentrate and tailings using various reagents, flocculants, centrifuges etc.
            -Mines already use photovoltaics but that can not provide power over night. If the solar plant is oversized to account for semi overcast days excess electrical power is wasted on sunny days.
            -addition of an electrolyser and hydrogen compression storage means excess energy can be stored and recouped. Diesel will still be needed but napkin calculations suggest about diesel consumption can be reduced to 40% or so.
            -Low speed diesels with topping cycles can be 57% efficient though just over 50% can be counted on. Hydrogen actually improves efficiency.

          • Find out the volume it takes, using current tech., for 564kg H2.

            It’s practical idea or another wishful thinking?

          • @Pedro, the Toyota Mirai’s 3 x 700 bar tanks store 7kg hydrogen. Scale their linear dimensions by 4 and we get 64 times the volume ie 448kg. I’m assuming the truck will be refueled at least every 8 hour shift so this is more than needed.

      • extra grid infrastructure demand for power injection is less than one might think.
        Power feeds into consumer segments reduce local load. ( for the grid consuming NN MW is the same as returning NN MW. Intermediate situations reduce grid load. This assumes your basic distribution setup is “sane” )

        What we see here in Germany is demand for longer range energy transfer ( windy north to sunny south.)

        One major issue is reestablishing supply after a blackout. You have to bring the grid up on classic power stations before you can connect the distributed sources.

        • “ One major issue is reestablishing supply after a blackout. You have to bring the grid up on classic power stations before you can connect the distributed sources.”
          -100% backup by gas turbines is needed for renewables in any case so it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a statistical reality that there will be times wind and solar are both not available. Much of the activist media had been in denial about this. I really think it’s silly of them. Combined cycle gas turbines can reach 60% efficiency and electrolyser hydrogen can be made and stored at 80% allowing 48% storage efficiency. This will only be needed 45% of the time. It just had to be accepted. Batteries can provide a buffer for 30 – 60 minutes of supply to ensure unnecessary startups are limited and to allow startup. These things: hydrogen storage and 100% battery backup for at least 30 minutes must be paid for as part of the system.

  9. is there some limitation I’m missing on PW making an open fan version of the GTF?

    because that is all RISE really is, an open fan geared turbofan.

    I am skeptical of the RISE (and open turbofans in general) because of noise, speed and blade containment. if you can get noise and speed in the same ballpark as a ducted turbofan, 99% of passengers will never even think about the blade containment issue so I am not that concerned about “passenger acceptance” _if_ those issues can be solved.

    • @Billbo: PW simply doesn’t believe in the open fan design.

    • P&W is also looking into hydrogen burning engine but with a thermodynamic twist. https://www.aerospacetestinginternational.com/news/electric-hybrid/pratt-whitney-wins-4-million-grant-to-develop-hydrogen-aircraft-engine.html
      If Airbus demands an hydrogen burning certified engine PWA will have something “almost” ready. CFMI RISE engine also comes in a hydrogen version. So eventually 2 new engines with +20% reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on paper will compete for the A320neo successor. Most likely coming in JET-A/SAF version and a LH2 version with maximum commonality. RR seems asleep right now.

      • Pratt & Whitney have said that PW1100G will have 10% better fuel burn by 2030. If we imagine a A321 with a plastic wing, some Lithium Alloy and minor refinements we can get another 6%. The plastic wing will get another 5% if its a laminar flow ‘blade’ wing. So the A321 could get 21% improvement by 2030. Boundary layer ingestion according to NASA could save another 8.5%. So maybe an conventional annular intake engine in the tail, or possibly even a pusher RISE or an fuel cell powered tail fan.
        There seems to be 20% achievable in an A321 with improved engines, a composite laminar flow wing and some other improvements.

        • There is a risk of stacking benefits on top of each other. It is very hard to get 10% improvement of an existing engine thru PIP’s. Often you work hard for 4-5 years to get 2%. Normally you need to increase fan size quite a bit and thus a new nacelle and risk the need to move the powerplant out on he wing. A new composite laminar flow wing can maybe give you 5-7% if you are very good. For me it sounds that the A321neo succcesor (A322 with a new carbon wing and Al-Li fuselage) need a new engine with 10-15% better fuel consumption. Airbus right now counts the money and wait for Boeing to launch a 727/757 successor before spending serious money on a new aircraft.

          • I got 10% engine efficiency improvements from Leeham who repeated PW claims for the PW1100G. Believable since PW are not using as high a temperature as GE yet. The 6% improvement with a plastic wing came from Airbus’s evaluation when developing the neo and is generally accepted for what is possible with a composite wing and slight fuselage improvements. The 5% for the laminar flow comes from the statements of the blade flight lab program. The 8.5% from comes from NASA work on fuselage boundary layer ingestion.
            -All up it compounds to 30%.
            Then there is still the RISE claims to factor in (20% or 10% over PW 2020 engine and the high aspect ratio truss wing also nearly.

            So I think an all new airframe in 2035 could get over 30% maybe 35%.

          • Haha

            (1-10%) x (1- 5%) x (1 – 6%) = ??

            Simple arithmetic still trips up adults.

            Every percentage point talked here worths hundreds of million if not billion! That’s why precision is paramount in aviation industry.

      • RR are investing heavily in nuclear SMR for the production of SAF and Hydrogen. I think they can see where this is going.

    • I suspect that Pratt & Whitney may have other routes they can go other than an open rotor. The CRISP program which though headed by MTU involved Pratt & Whitney (who MTU partner with) and used a PW 6000 core. It was a contra rotating shrouded fan that used exhaust heat recovery. Heat in the exhaust preheated air into the combustion chamber.

  10. If a RISE open rotor demonstrator manages to achieve a 20% improvement in TSFC on a test bench, how much of that improvement would be eaten up by the compromises that have to be made to the aircraft configuration in order to accommodate such engines?

  11. There are a bewildering array of synthetic SAF out there that don’t rely on vegetable or waste vegetable oils.
    1 Electrokersene also called PtL made using electricity by combining hydrogen from electrolysis and CO2 Direct Air Captured. The estimates suggest that production of fuel at $1.50L is possible (compared to todays inflated jet fuel price of $0.70 Litre)
    2 CO2, say from a blast furnace or power station and hydrogen combined in a bioreactor to make ethanol which is converted to jet fuel. Can be quite dirty CO2.
    3 Application of high temperature sunlight to a cerium catalyst with CO2 and water to produce syngas which is made to jet fuel.
    There are dozens of companies work on this and it seems 65% efficient.
    -If one can use nuclear power the cost diminishes considerably to a level equal to mineral oil almost. Clearly there will be further technologies.
    -Note that Pratt & Whitney have said the PW1100G will be 10% more efficient. Imagining an A321 with these engines (-10%) with a composite wing (6%) and maybe laminar flow outer wings (5%-10%) so maybe 20% saving achievable means a SAF at twice current costs can be absorbed to 20% but if renewable electric is reduced in cost the price may come down further.

    • In Sweden one nuclear powerplant power output is limited to feed the grid up to a level that other powerplants can compensate in an emegency stop and the grid can swallow the power from other powerplants. The idea is to run it full steam and use the additional available power to convert CO2 shipped to the site and produce SAF for SAS. We will see if they succeed. This artificial limitation on nuclear power output must be pretty common elsewere?

      • I think at this point its important to ensure the SAF industry both the “electro SAF” and “bio SAF” types start up and accumulate knowledge etc. It will take many years of experience and operation to perfect much as the oil industry has perfected itself. but then it will be ready for scaling to massive levels without cold feet from investors.
        Nuclear is one important distant option but the beauty of SAF is it might be transported from sunny and windy remote regions.

        (The oil industry incidentally had a huge boost in productivity in the 1920s when American distillers of fine whisky ended up in the oil industry due to prohibition)

        • About emergency ‘ stop’ of power stations. Whether by oil,gas, or steam, sudden load drops cause major problems with connected turbines. Many many many years ago, 1950’s was on a engineering field trip to san francisco bay area. visited a major steam power plant and got an interesting lecture and tour. About30 miles away was ( moffat ) now NASA Ames wind tunnel . Used bucu horsepower ( over 30,000 at that time ) electric motors to drive hugh fan blades. So ran only at late night and staged arrangements to crank up several power plants within a 50 mile or so radius. One night as they were running, threw a blade. Operator hit emergency stop, and dumped over 30,000 hp electric in a few seconds. Blew transformer fuses for miles around, and that sites stem turbine went overspeed before it could be t shut down. Took over 6 months to repair and get back on line.

          Tunnel now uses over 135,000 hp. Think of what might happen with similar equivalent drops in power grids today !

          • Doesnt add up. Very large load drop outs are not rare any more. I understand that computer controls nowdays handle all that in micro seconds, very quickly.

          • Fortunately the emergency shutdown of outsize loads is pretty uncommon. There are plenty of such loads besides wind tunnels. Compressors for liquefaction and air separation plants (ammonia production) etc. Often variable speed drives now. When such loads shut down there is a great deal of energy in the windings that has to go somewhere and will need to be absorbed, by a generator or synchronous condenser, surge arrestor etc.
            One of the problems with renewables is that it is not ‘dispatchable power’ so if there is a fault to bypass or drive power into till it clears or is bypassed. The network plus this switchgear is never factored in by CEO of renewable energy companies or green activists. In fact these grid costs more than double the cost.
            As Dukeofurl said there are high speed protection devices coordinated by fibre optic networks that can detect faults and isolate them very quickly. These are very expensive, they’ve always been used in say steal works and industry but we’ve saved ourselves the cost in public utilities. A High Voltage Vacuum or SF6 Circuit breaker that can mechanically open in milliseconds is not cheap.
            These costs must be added to extra transmission lines.
            I keep thinking of Tim Clark saying “Don’t mislead the people”. We need the truth and facts. If it has to be done then at least we know what we are up for.

          • @william

            The most noise I’ve been hearing (from Europe perspective I suppose) is that new renewable sites are being built with battery arrays to stabilise the output and buffer the grid in general. These batteries have been shown to respond to outages and fluctuations extremely effectively – see for example the Australian gigabattery (or whatever it’s called).

          • The local grid might handle 1200GW but 1750GW in an emergency stop can be too much hence you have 550GW to play with making SAF or convert to HVDC and send to buyers in a sea cable. Continuous 550MW power is alot of sea based windmills.

          • @SomeoneInToulouse, I am in Australia. Shutdowns in South Australia happened because of a neglected of grid investment development as money was poured into renewables which lacking an ability to dispatch power as turbine plant do made matters worse. Elon Musk offered a battery made up of repurposed car batteries within 3 months. It was a fast and effective solution. It really only provides grid stabilisation but is being misrepresented as storing renewable energy. The CEO of renewable companies should not be allowed to quote their cost of energy without factoring in at least 30 minutes of battery backup. A more traditional approach of synchronous condensers and better switchgear would have helped as well and these improvements have belatedly been made as well.
            We will likely see wind and solar farms reach 4 hours storage soon. That will certainly blend very well with gas turbine plant perhaps burning a blend of green and blue hydrogen.

          • Always intriguing to see people writing about the supposed virtues of wind power — without taking the total uncontrollability of wind into consideration. It’s yet another totally calm day here today (March 16) in The Netherlands — and, in fact, basically in the whole of Europe:

            Even worse: there’s a layer of fine Sahara sand high in the atmosphere which is significantly attenuating the sun –> lower output from solar panels also.

            Network managers don’t like being beholden to the whims of nature — they want/need complete controllability.

          • Re: Australian gigabattery (or whatever it’s called)

            In Australia, Tesla megapack grid battery caught fire and burned for a week or so before it was brought under control.

  12. My bet, for now, is that Boeing will wait and wait themselves right out of the commercial
    passenger aircraft business.

    Evidence to the contrary is welcome, if it’s not just Boeing PR- at which that company excels.

    • I tend to agree.
      Also, the rumors of a coming 787F — together with the touted HGW passenger versions — may point to an impending abandonment of the 777X.
      Expansion of the 787 family is a far more viable commercial prospect than trying to propel the overweight and undersold 777X from its ongoing certification limbo.

      • > the rumors of a coming 787F — together with the touted HGW passenger versions — may point to an impending abandonment of the 777X. <

        Abandonment of the 777-X is difficult to imagine, but the signs do point that way, no?

        I'll say again that I don't think there will be a 777-XF, all PR aside.

        • Predictions ? maybe you should check out this one from 5 years back
          Plenty of planes have had certification blues, its a rite of passage now.
          Look at how long ‘development’ has taken in China with its derivatives of western airliners. No one questions that they will persevere for as long as it takes. Boeing will do the same as the 777X is far further along than our friends in Chengdu.

          • quote LN:2017″… Wall Street aerospace analyst suggests: that is, the program is likely to remain unprofitable and be shut down. .. ”

            similar to the dear warnings : nobody will buy NEO, CEOs will loose significant value ..

            “directed communications” of limited value.

          • “Plenty of planes have had certification blues”

            Can you name one that was stuck in a protracted “TIA limbo standoff” with regulators who are not enthusiastic about certifying it as a derivative?

          • The guidance for full type approval of 777X is mid or late 2023

            Whats limbo about that, it clearly taking longer like they always do.
            The flight actuators is a small problem in the scheme of things and its a poor result from the japanese supplier and seems to have been taken bacj inhouse
            ‘David Calhoun confirmed during the 2020-results webcast that following consultation with regulators, Boeing was to redesign the firmware and hardware of the Actuator Control Electronics (ACE). This system translates analog control inputs into digital signals to the surface control systems and is provided by Japanese company Nabtesco.’

            Even with the new planes in China certification is slow and FAA walked away ages ago

          • To paraphrase Richard III:
            “A TIA, a TIA, my Kingdom for a TIA!”

            Very comforting to hear that “the guidance for full type approval of 777X is mid or late 2023”.
            It’s not like BA is in the habit of missing guidance, is it? Let’s see: the “guidance” for 787 delivery resumption was originally in July last year…and then that slipped to October last year…and now it’s March and BA has stopped issuing further “guidance” altogether.

            But never mind such pesky details: for the 777X, BA has secured the services of Harry Potter to make things happen…so all will surely be well.

          • -> The guidance for full type approval of 777X is mid or late 2023


            WN was informed/promised (by you know who) to have their MAX 7 delivered last year. Take the words of you know who at your own peril.

      • The 777x program seems too big to fail, beyond the point of no return, fully committed, close to EIS, etc. etc. But in heavy weather non the less.

        One of the biggest issues may be Airbus working on a HGW A350-1000, with RR Ultrafan prototype being more dimensioned for A350 than many realize. Test runs this year.

        The A350s being significantly lower weight, proven, popular and having a newer engine than the 777-9’s GE9X, creates some undeniable question marks for the 777-9, 778F and any version.

        A bigger wing for the 787 would have been a swell idea, but Boeing wasn’t really in the good listening mode in the previous decade and positive free cash flow hid everything.

        • On the one hand, there’s “too big to fail”.
          On the other hand, there’s “throwing good money after bad” and “flogging a dead horse”.
          A company swimming in cash might indulge itself to see where things go, but BA doesn’t have that luxury.

        • Hell, I’d be pleased to see even the present-day 787 get back into delivery mode.

          When was the last one delivered- sometime in 2020?

          Boing: ” We’re #1! ”


          • All Nippon 787-9 JA937A delivered 22/12/2021 and JA936A delivered 12/10/21

            You’re welcome ..

          • @ DoU

            He was referring to mainstream deliveries from the ongoing production line…not “one-off” exceptions involving airframes produced at an earlier date.

            You’re welcome…

          • Are you ‘the spokesman’ now , being his overseer ?

            He asked when there was a ‘delivery’ and I caught him out

          • That’s a fascinating way to spend one’s time: trying to “catch people out” on pedantic semantic details while overlooking the bigger picture.

            Maybe Calhoun is doing the same…

          • Not fascinating. It was an obvious error which takes 30 sec to check.
            What is more fascinating that you spend your time playing defensive coach for your team.

          • Delivery of aircraft in storage?

            Thanks for your disinformation/misinformation.

          • @Bryce

            BA could have spent time to catch its own re: 737 MAX MCAS/787 production issues instead of being caught with their pants down and almost 400 deaths.

          • BA’s inability of delivering 787 and MAX 7 creates headaches for WN/AAL/Air Lease Corp.

      • It is not easy to make a cargo aircraft from the pax optimized 787. I would start with converting the -10 and upgrade as soon as more efficient engines becomes available. If it sells well GE will let GE9X technology flow into a new GEnX (GEnY?) and RR will push for the RR Ultrafan for the 787-10. The 777-9F would be a bit heavy compared with the A350F but its size and wing might compensate most of it, still the real A350F competitor is the 787F.

      • Since we are predicting, here are mine:

        Will the program survive, yes. If someone was to offer Boeing the 777x today for a dollar I think they would take it and hence I don’t believe it will be cancelled. I think at a minimum the program is strong enough to generate free cash and cover future costs.

        Will the overall program ever make money, no. And Boeing recognized that by a one time loss.

        Was the one time loss large enough for the program to cover the remaining (not written off) development cost. Perhaps perhaps not. I think Boeing is waiting till it knows the full cost and will then announce a final program loss.

        Will it be certified, yes. The FAA will continue to ride Boeing but the aircraft will be certified.

        Will there be a 777X-F, yes. Given the above and sales commitments that’s a no brainer.

  13. Depends first on when Boeing have determined the tigger pull deadlines are for the 2030 product, and second on whether Calhoun is still in charge.

    The extraordinarily high levels of uncertainty (ie lack of clarity) sould mitigate against Boeing being able to commit either way until at least some of the murk has cleared. I’m thinking here of Covid driven inflation and supply chain shifts, plus 1st and 2nd order etc. blowback from Russian sanctions that could affect cost of capital, access to capital, access to human resources (eg Boeing’s Russian & Ukrainian talent pools, and their local contacts), access to raw materials (Ti and Al etc) and any escalation that could involve a rupture with China (think all of the above but substitute ICs etc for Ti/Al, and add in very significant demand destruction).

    Calhoun has also shown his spots with MAX and, together with his accounting and MR background, to me they say long wait. That said, his Nielsen experience/contacts ought to at least give a strong possibility of Boeing setting public policy very much to their advantage, just as they did with 777 (ETOPS vs A340) and 737 (grandfathering) in prior decades, notwithstanding the changed elationship between FAA and EASA etc.


    1) If 737-10 certification fails to meet the deadline this could make an earlier launch more likely.

    2) If Boeing has a design that can work well, give or take an acceptable % loss to a fully optimsied design (I’ve no idea. 2%? 4%?), then they could not only mitigate the engine choice risk but also split the overall risk into more manageable chunks than with a clean sheet open rotor only. So would go relatively early.

    Also, if such a design exists, I’m guessing this first mover position and simple fact of develping an airframe capable of using RISE ought to mean CFM offering at least some preferential treatment vs Airbus. If this includes design direction of RISE, could Boeing use this to lead to an engine that works to Boeing strengths and/or against Airbus’ weaknesses? And if it includes the right to be the first to offer a RISE product even better.

  14. Certified Aviation batteries are going to be built to different standards to automotive. Likely they will have thermal run away inhibitors and individual temperature current and voltage sensors to shut part of the battery down if there is a hot spot developing.

  15. Great article, thx for that.

    Airbus seems to be locked on H2, and for me that’s an A346 or A380.
    Tech might look fine, but doesn’t make sense.

    There are just too many issues.
    Main question: Where shall the H2 come from? Now it’s from gas and oil.
    There’s now rewnewable source with enough efficiency and propably it’s not possible with physics. Musk is right with his statment, that you need triple the power plants for H2 compared to battery + e-motor.

    H2 is difficult to handle, needs super high pressure, that costs effciency, and causes heat. It’s very reactive.
    Tanks are heavy.

    I simply don’t see it happen, we would need several technology breakthroughs to somehow find a way from fossile powered aircrafts.

    It might be easier to remove the Co2 from the air than to save it before.

    About 30 years till 2050, but the tech we need for zero emission air tranport isn’t around yet nor it’s lungering on the horizon.

    • “Musk is right with his statement, that you need triple the power plants for H2 compared to battery + e-motor.”

      Musk conveniently forgets to factor in the (equivalent) power plants needed to enable the mining and processing of lithium, and the manufacture and recycling of batteries.
      You also don’t hear him talking about the fact that hydrogen vehicles have greater range, and that they can be refueled in 5 minutes as opposed to hanging on a charger for more than an hour (fast charging causes serious battery degradation).


      “Airbus seems to be locked on H2”

      Airbus is looking at LH2 for regional, SAF for shorthaul/longhaul, and electric for urban.

      • Liquid H2 for regional jets? It sounds for me like brilliants for tractors, too expensive and useless.

        I hardly can imagine a typical regional airport that can refuel aircraft with LH2.

        Rocket guys are obviously so stupid because they constantly believe that LH2 is the most expensive fuel in terms of overall costs.

          • Kudos to the Dutch on this project. In the late nineties I worked for a fuel cell firm who purchased the intellectual properties on the fuel processor, the component of a fuel cell system which turns propane and natural gas into a hydrogen fuel stream through catalysis and extreme heat, kind of like a catalytic converter found in motor vehicles. Frequent trips back to the Netherlands for the purpose of looking at certain wonders such as floating cities, “laser printed houses” and the laser printed bridge in Amsterdam, a tribute to the inventive Dutch who’ve decided to live with the encroaching seas. sorry being off topic, but the electric tractor video took me back.

          • @RK
            Nice to read your positive comment about The Netherlands — thanks! 👍
            Makes a refreshing break from the usual, jaded anti-EU rhetoric from some commenters.

          • -Clever farm automation in the more complex harvesting area almost always fails because there is effectively infinite supply of 3rd world labour that is brought in, mostly by immigration but sometimes seasonal, to do this work. Some good people but also a lot of external costs such as social welfare etc associated with low income. Some cases negative.
            -In the mid 1970s the US Dept of Agriculture had a massive programme of automation. It was cancelled circa 1974 by the Secretary who said he wasn’t going to subsidise automation development that was going to put people out of work that wanted to work.
            -That equipment and know how was often transferred to Australian Universities and research organisation who finished the work and partially as a result of this allowed Australia to almost dominate the global wine trade. (Plant Breeding was another secret) for years. Australia perfected automated grape harvesting and also recently automated olive harvesting and now Australian companies are establishing olive plantations for automated harvesting in the US. Yet US is home of high tech.
            – Around the years 2010 the US orange industry in Cali found it was being undersold by the Brazilian industry. When they investigated they found that Brazils higher level of automation greatly outperformed California’s cheap labour. Bizarre.
            -Slavery was the ultimate form of cheap labour and completely unnecessary but what I don’t like about the cheap labour (and outsourcing sometimes is) approach is how dumb it makes management.
            Management looses skill they no longer can write a specification for equipment, acquire technology, use it, train people in it. Managers become pushy and wars with labour and unions to lower costs. Lots of folks in that hole.

    • Musk is completely right when talking about ground vehicles, where 1) weight is less of an issue and 2) you can recover energy back into your battery when braking. A use-case of H2 for ground vehicles was already looking dubious but with battery technology etc. moving so fast it’s already been surpassed.

      Green H2 (from renewables) is very much the focus for aviation (not blue and definitely not grey). Your liquid H2 tank is then basically just a battery with higher energy density and bigger losses when “charging”. ***For aircraft*** you accept the lower efficiency since you can’t get around the lower weight.

      Carbon capture doesn’t work – the pilot plants which were built captured fractions of percent and actually produced more CO2 than they saved due to the energy required. They are all being decommisioned AFAIK.

      • Someone must invent new physics or at least new materials for the efficient storage of H2 or LH2 in aircraft.

          • Thank you so much for the opportunity to read Bjorn’s excellent research in its entirety.

            Alas, things are exactly as I knew them.

            It will cost a lot for many decades. I have no idea who will be able to pay for that. I don’t think that an economy of scale can make it as cheap as needed.

        • I forgot to counter this untruth in my previous response (and I see Dukeofurl took it on anyway). But this was another thing that was already worked on decades ago – my university workshop was littered with composite tanks either being prepped or being examined post-test by the group researching this…

          • I meant that we are doomed to leave the wings without any fuel and reinvent the fuselage in a suboptimal way.

            While engine manufacturers fight every percent, we are going to use a non-optimal airframe.

          • Apparently according to Bjorn, wings have been sub optimal for some time due to the need to accommodate the large fuel volume. So now can be thinner ?
            Its always tradeoffs in any aircraft design

  16. They should offer Calhoun and a few technocrats a guaranteed $12mln total compensation for the next 4 years & then they retire. Decoupled of stock price, free cash flow or share holder actions.

    To weed out the short term profiteers, self destructive capitalism and set the ship on course. But you need Washington billions & protection for that..

  17. Boeing proxy out today- and here is an excerpt about pay structure for the top dogs

    As required by Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Item 402(u) of
    Regulation S-K, we are providing the following information about the relationship of the median of the annual total
    compensation of our employees and the annual total compensation of our CEO.
    For 2021, the annual total compensation of our median employee, was $124,844, and the annual total compensation of
    our CEO, Mr. Calhoun, was $21,093,605 as reported in the Summary Compensation Table on page 56. Based on this
    information, we estimated that our CEO’s 2021 total compensation was approximately 169 times that of our median
    employee. The median employee’s 2021 total compensation was calculated in the same manner as would be required
    by item 402(c)(2)(x) of Regulation S-K if the employee was a NEO for 2021, and the 2021 annual total compensation of
    the CEO represents the amount reported in the “Total” column of the Summary Compensation Table on page 56.

    As required by Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Item 402(u) of
    Regulation S-K, we are providing the following information about the relationship of the median of the annual total
    compensation of our employees and the annual total compensation of our CEO.
    For 2021, the annual total compensation of our median employee, was $124,844, and the annual total compensation of
    our CEO, Mr. Calhoun, was $21,093,605 as reported in the Summary Compensation Table on page 56. Based on this
    information, we estimated that our CEO’s 2021 total compensation was approximately 169 times that of our median
    employee. The median employee’s 2021 total compensation was calculated in the same manner as would be required
    by item 402(c)(2)(x) of Regulation S-K if the employee was a NEO for 2021, and the 2021 annual total compensation of
    the CEO represents the amount reported in the “Total” column of the Summary Compensation Table on page 56.
    For the lower half employees – let them eat cake -if they can afford to buy it or make it .

    • And on conservation- Boeing claims

      Boeing invests in sustainable operations to help drive the highest levels of industrial performance at our manufacturing
      and other facilities. We are making significant strides to address climate change and protect air, land, water and human
      health in partnership with our stakeholders and in line with our customers’ priorities. We shared our goals for 2030 in
      our 2021 Sustainability Report, and our 2025 targets will act as a milestone to guide our actions and progress along the
      way. Once again, we achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and other facilities in 2021 by
      expanding conservation and renewable electricity use while sourcing verified carbon offsets for the remaining
      greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, we executed contracts to grow our use of wind and solar power in the future and
      will continue to do so. For more information, visit http://www.boeing.com/principles/environment/index.page.

    • Why did Boeings CEO make 6x as much as Airbus’ CEO over the last few years?

      Financial Results? Strategy? Sales? Profitability? Job Creation? Quality? Sustainable operations? Decreasing carbon emissions?

      Wake-up call?

      • Much easier to lead an intact entity like Airbus
        vs the FUBAR thing that Boeing seems to be.

        A “mommy makeover” for Boeing will be beyond expensive 🙂

      • It’s more expensive because he’s a “successful” American executive hired by an American “champion”.

        Akio Toyoda got roughly $3m for running one of the world’s largest and most profitable carmaker. Puts other company executives in shame.


    Innovation and Clean Technology Solutions
    Our company and our industry recognize that decreasing carbon emissions is an urgent challenge. We are united in our
    commitment to decarbonize commercial aviation so billions of passengers can experience flight every year to connect
    with friends and family, discover new places and cultures, engage in commerce and care for those in need in a
    sustainable manner. Achieving this objective requires a global portfolio of solutions and partnerships that allows our
    industry sector to decarbonize. Renewable energy in particular plays a critical role and can include sustainable aviation
    fuels, electric-powered battery propulsion and green hydrogen. Boeing is working to advance the development of all
    three technologies.
    In 2021, we established multiple partnerships to help advance the renewable energy transition with partners including
    SkyNRG, SkyNRG Americas, Alaska Airlines, Etihad Airways, NASA, Rolls-Royce, and United Airlines. We also joined
    the First Movers Coalition, partnering with leading companies across sectors to accelerate the development of new
    technologies to reduce emissions. Additionally, we continued to make progress through our joint venture, Wisk, which
    is working to bring to market the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the U.S., helping decarbonize transportation while
    enabling new business opportunities centered around Urban Air Mobility.
    For more information, visit http://www.boeing.com/principles/environment/index.page.

  19. Off-topic, but of importance to aviation…and as expected:
    “Russia moves to seize hundreds of planes from foreign owners”

    “President Vladimir Putin signed a law Monday as part of the government’s anti-sanction measures that will allow Russian airlines to register planes leased from foreign companies in Russia, where they will be issued local certificates of airworthiness, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

    “The bill will make it possible for Russian airlines to keep their foreign leased aircraft and operate the planes on domestic routes, while making it harder for foreign companies to reclaim their jets without Russian government approval.”


    • Its the other way round , foreign governments have ordered leasing companies to terminate their leases- unilaterally and in all likelihood a breach of the lease agreement.
      The planes are legally in possession of the leaseholder
      Rules based international system , remember

      • I’m not surprised at all — typical tit-for-tat tactics.
        This was to be expected…any other sanctioned power would do the same.
        If the west feels that it can confiscate yaughts belonging to Russian oligarchs, it needn’t be surprised to have its planes confiscated.

      • > Rules based international system , remember <

        Whose "rules" ?

        I think some changes will be coming in that realm; perhaps more quickly than one might have previously imagined.

      • $12 billion stranded assets created almost overnight. Well done kids!!

  20. Hi Scott

    -> And when a battery-powered Nissan Leaf or hybrid Toyota Prius runs low on battery mid-trip …

    I haven’t heard of a hybrid like the Toyota Prius (HEV or PHEV) would run low on battery that the driver cannot continue to drive (the car has a 1.8L engine that can power the car and recharge the battery).

    • poorly worded but proves the point. An airplane powered by batteries can’t continue on a gas engine….

    • IMHO- All electric vehicles are good for city traffic and say 40 to 50 mile radius of travel.
      Beyond that hybrids probably have the edge.

      Interesting that the hybrid combination for vehicles took so long to become ‘ practical’
      Diesel electric trains have been around for at least 90 years in most of the U.S andsome countries. Yet I am aware of few diesel electric autos. Running a diesel engine at a narrow range of speed is fairly efficient- but engine is heavy compared to gas.

      And of course- subs prior to nukes have been diesel electric- battery powerd for about 100 years.

      Hybrid works !!

      • Not so fast . The Diesel electric locos are supposed to be 35% efficient, while the locos driven from an overhead wire are 95%.

        I well remember many years back a major central commuter train station which had a freight line running between 2 of the 5 platforms and a diesel loco train would often come through with its load of new cars and it had both diesel electric power and a pantograph to power the motors directly . Thats a true hybrid

        • GEEZE- Where do you think the electric power comes from? And the cost of stringing it from california to kansas city?
          And yes local trolleys and diesel electric buses have/were running in Seattle for a few decades. WE have/had an abundance of electric power here ( grand coulee, columbia river etc )
          And in switzerland- with LOTS of hydro electric trains are common including
          from grindewald thru the eiger to Jungfraujoch, etc.
          MY point was for use of the major hiways- interstate travel by cargo trucks, eetc
          or ‘ around’ town.

  21. All this effort at alternative fuels for aviation specifically is misguided. Why? because the meaningful number regarding CO2 emissions is the aggregate amount globally. Efforts should be directed to changes that are most cost effective. Nearly half of all global CO2 emissions is still from burning coal. Coal produces the least energy per unit of CO2 produced of the fossil fuels because it is mostly just carbon, not a hydrocarbon. Natural gas (methane) produces the most and petroleum is in between.

    Substitute solar, wind, nuclear, gas and oil to reduce thermal coal use. Natural gas produces only about a third as much CO2 per kWh of electricity produced and oil only about half compared to coal. All use of natural gas (methane)should carefully account for the escape of unburned methane, a much more powerful greenhouse than CO2 so oil may actually be better than gas if methane escape is not minimized. The appeal of methane (nat. gas) is mainly that it is usually much cheaper than oil and produces minimal combustion byproducts (conventional pollutants).

    As far as SAF (plant based fuels) are concerned it doesn’t matter where they are used as far as CO2 reductions are concerned just that they are used somewhere. There are plenty of environmental concerns with plants for fuel (not food) but if they are to be used they should be used them where it is cheapest and easiest to do so.

    By all means keep making aircraft more fuel efficient and tax carbon to discourage needless flying, driving, etc. Other than that, most of the low/no CO2 measures for aviation amount to greenwashing because only global aggregate emissions matter and actions should be taken where the return for effort and investment is greatest. Aviation is 2% of CO2 emissions globally and the costs of taking it off petroleum are much higher than other measures per unit of CO2 avoided.

    • Dan you are correct, highly efficient propulsion technology, power generation and waste containment can probably be accomplished easier on the ground then at level 40 above an ocean.

      Problem is accountabilities and decision making power are spread out over so many governments, interest groups and industries, that everyone can keep pointing at higher powers, avoid responsibility & get away with it.

      Greenwashing has become a major industry, with opportunistic politicians committed and billions going around and many family incomes depending on it.

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