AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

United, Honeywell Invest in New Clean Tech Venture from Alder Fuels, Powering Biggest Sustainable Fuel Agreement in Aviation History

Honeywell | September 13, 2021

United and Honeywell today announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels – a cleantech company that is pioneering first-of-its-kind technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When used together across the fuel lifecycle, the Alder technologies, coupled with Honeywell's Ecofining™ process, could have the ability to produce a carbon-negative fuel at spec with today's jet fuel. The goal of the technologies is to produce fuel that is a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum jet fuel.

As part of the agreement, United is committing to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder when produced to United's requirements. United's purchase agreement, which is one and a half times the size of the known purchase commitments of all global airlines combined, makes this easily the largest publicly announced SAF agreement in aviation history. United's purchase agreement with Alder also surpasses the previous record set by the airline in 2015 through its investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy with its option to purchase up to 900 million gallons of SAF. Alder's technology and demand for its fuel from the aviation industry create a large new market for biomass from regenerative practices. Use of this biomass further enables Alder's production process to be carbon negative over the fuel's lifecycle.

Prior to founding Alder, Sherbacow built the world's first SAF refinery utilizing Honeywell's technology and subsequently contracted with United, enabling the airline to become the first globally to use SAF in regular operations on a continuous basis. Since then, United has purchased more SAF than any other airline and, with this agreement now, has more than 70% of the airline industry's publicly announced SAF commitments. Alder's research is supported by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, the DOE and a partnership with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), focused on developing technology to process organic waste and sustainable, non-food plant material into carbon-negative transportation fuels.

Honeywell innovation established the SAF market with its UOP Ecofining process, which is the first technology used to maximize SAF production for commercial aviation. Building on Honeywell's focus to create sustainable technology, Honeywell will utilize its expertise and proven process of developing sustainable fuels alongside Alder, applying proprietary hydroprocessing design to the process to jointly commercialize the technology. Commercialization is expected by 2025. This announcement is a clear example of how Honeywell's Sustainable Technology Solutions business can partner with early-stage companies and help them scale faster, access customers and advance research and development to help drive sustainability at the global level.

United's joint investment in Alder is the latest by United Airlines Ventures, a venture fund launched earlier this year that focuses on startups, upcoming technologies, and sustainability concepts that will complement United's goal of net zero emissions by 2050 -- without relying on traditional carbon offsets. In 2020, United became the first airline to announce a commitment to invest in carbon capture and sequestration and has since followed with investments in electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and 19-seat electric aircraft that have the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the decade's end.

About United
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World."

About United Airlines Ventures
United's corporate venture capital fund, United Airlines Ventures, allows the airline to continue investing in emerging companies that have the potential to influence the future of travel. The new fund will concentrate on sustainability concepts that will complement United's goal of net zero emissions by 2050 -- without relying on traditional carbon offsets -- as well as revolutionary aerospace developments and innovative technologies that are expected to create value for customers and United's operation. 

About Honeywell
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

About Alder Fuels
Alder Fuels, founded by biofuel and aviation industry entrepreneur Bryan Sherbacow, is a process technology and project development company in the low-carbon energy industry. Alder is commercializing a process to produce crude oil that is carbon negative, scalable and cost-competitive with the petroleum it replaces. Critical to rapid, world-scale deployment, the process will be compatible with the existing petroleum refining and logistics infrastructure.  The company's collaboration with United Airlines and Honeywell UOP is expected to propel use of new forms of biomass to power commercial aircraft, reduce fossil fuel consumption and commercialize technologies benefiting the flying public. It builds upon a decade-old relationship among the stakeholders in pioneering commercialization of industry-leading SAF technology.

Spotlight

Around the world, widebody aircraft are typically used for long-haul flights. However, this is not always the case. While not often used for long-haul flights, narrowbody aircraft can travel quite a distance. Simple Flying decided to investigate.


Other News
AIRPORT MANAGEMENT

TSA PreCheck® Ready for Takeoff at Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines | December 27, 2021

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DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

Rochester Travelers Gain Nonstop Access to Favorite Leisure Destinations with Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines | February 16, 2022

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Overair Receives $145 million Investment from Hanwha Group to Develop All-Electric VTOL Aircraft

Overair | June 15, 2022

Electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle company, Overair, announced its most recent funding of $145 million from Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Aerospace, global leaders in ultra-precision communications and aircraft technologies. With this new investment, Overair remains on track to fly its all-electric experimental prototype in the second half of 2023. Hanwha's continued investment in Overair not only fuels the ongoing development of Butterfly but will also allow Overair to lay the groundwork for commercializing their mobility technology. In addition to their investment, Hanwha will also provide electric motors and battery packs for Overair's prototypes, as the two companies expand their R&D co-operation. "This is a tremendous milestone for our growing team, and we're extremely well positioned to deliver sustainable aerial ridesharing to the world through the development of Butterfly. We're exactly where we want to be, building a superior aircraft company with class leading mobility technology around an unrivaled aircraft while rapidly approaching the first flight of a purpose-built prototype next year. We've proven Butterfly's propulsion system, so we'll now begin validating Butterfly's ability to operate safely in real-world weather conditions, carry significant payloads, and fly incredibly quietly." Ben Tigner, Co-Founder and CEO of Overair Butterfly is an all-electric aircraft with six seats designed to take off and land vertically. The aircraft's advanced propulsion system is derived from decades of military VTOL programs led by Abe Karem. Thanks to this legacy of proprietary engineering, Butterfly's propulsion is extremely efficient and will give Butterfly the broadest flight envelope and smallest sound footprint of any aircraft in the burgeoning industry. Specifically, Butterfly's unique Optimum Speed Propulsion (OSP) uses four large propellers, which spin slowly when hovering and even slower when cruising, and draw only a fraction of the available motor power, giving Butterfly extra payload capacity and power margins to operate safely in challenging environmental conditions. Additionally, the slow-turning props produce extraordinarily little sound, which will allow Butterfly to operate in high-density areas with noise sensitive communities. "Hanwha's basic principles for new business development is to focus on 'Disruptive Innovation' that can uproot and shift the market and technology trends based on its core capabilities. In alignment with its core capabilities as well as its main businesses, Hanwha is selecting 'Game Changer' businesses that it can really excel in the future, and eVTOL vehicle is one of the 'Game changer,'" said Mr. Sungchul Eoh, CEO of Hanwha Systems. "With regard to our investment decision in Overair, we assessed that the company had the numerous patients and core technologies required to develop highly efficient, low noise vehicle. Therefore, we expected that Overair would be capable of developing superb vehicle that can satisfy the requirements for safety, efficiency, speed, low noise, and environment-friendly feature. We see the potential of Overair's Optimum Speed Propulsion system and we will continue to work together to find synergies and bring this breakthrough technology to the world." As the company continues to work toward FAA certification, Overair is also working with NASA and Urban Movement Labs in Los Angeles to develop urban air mobility (UAM) routing and infrastructure. About Overair Overair is positioned to be a global leader in advanced air mobility. Spun out of Karem Aircraft in 2020, the Santa Ana, CA based company announced the design of its vehicle, Butterfly, in 2021. Butterfly is a breakthrough electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Butterfly's proprietary technologies, derived from the Overair team's decades of aerospace experience, create critical power reserves using today's commercially available battery cells, which translate into advances in safety and a superior experience for passengers and communities. With eVTOL adoption revolutionizing urban mobility, Butterfly is positioned to set the bar on real-world dependability, with best-in-class payload, sound emissions and weather capability. Overair has operating partnerships with companies such as Hanwha Systems and Bristow Group, and the team completed its full-scale propulsion testing in the first quarter of 2022. About Hanwha Aerospace Hanwha Aerospace is the only aircraft engine manufacturer in South Korea, which holds the trust in the global market based on our unrivaled technology. Hanwha Aerospace is a company founded based on the aircraft engine and film camera businesses in 1977. Since then, we have built the top position in the precision machinery field in Korea and expanded our business based on the foundational technology in optics, video, and aircraft engine areas. Now, we have also entered the space business, including aircraft engine and machinery businesses. We have owned the global top-tier source and application technologies as well throughout the entire business area and rapidly responded to the market needs. Furthermore, we entered the satellite business in 2021 through the acquisition of Satrec Initiative, a domestic satellite specialist. As a key company behind 'Space Hub,' Hanwha's foray into the space industry, we will actively promote research and development (R&D) investment and talent recruitment across space-related businesses. Hanwha Aerospace will preemptively respond to the rapidly changing market environment and leap forward to become the global No. 1 partner in the aviation industry with ongoing technical development and expansion of quality competitiveness. Embracing the promise of the New Space Age, we will continue our efforts to establish the space industry value chain, including launch vehicle engines, while providing total solutions for the industry. About Hanwha Systems Hanwha Systems provides differentiated smart technologies in defense electronics and ICT fields. Since its founding in 1977, the Hanwha Systems defense division has proven the efficacy of its weapons and has been credited for significantly advancing the defense capabilities of South Korea's military. The company has consolidated its unrivaled position in the defense industry by securing advanced defense technology and system integration capabilities through a merger with an IT company in August 2018. As a defense company that fulfills important missions in national security, Hanwha Systems continuously expands its business areas under the vision of becoming a "global defense electronics and ICT smart solution provider." In addition, by combining advanced defense technology and ICT technology capabilities developed through defense electronics and ICT businesses, we provide customized solutions in various business areas such as urban air mobility (UAM) and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications, and future smart ICT, helping our customers build the foundation for sustainable growth.

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AEROSPACE

JetBlue Now Accepting Applications for Pilot Gateway Programs

JetBlue | March 08, 2022

JetBlue today announced it is once again accepting applications for its pilot Gateways. With seven distinct education and training paths for pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians, JetBlue’s industry-leading Gateways offer anyone with the talent and dream of flying a range of pathways into the industry, opening the door for more people to discover and define their own career path in aviation. As the airline with the longest-running pathway programs, JetBlue is proud to continue its legacy, producing hundreds of new-hire pilots for the airline with 12% of last year’s new-hire pilots coming through one of the JetBlue Gateways. “Whether you’ve never been in an aircraft flight deck or already have a few solo flights under your belt and are planning for your future as a commercial airline pilot, we know that there is no single route to a career in aviation, but we do believe there should be a path available for anyone with the aptitude and passion to pursue it. Our Gateways offer multiple paths for those who’ve dreamed but never had the opportunity to pursue these highly-skilled careers in aviation. Since 2008 our Gateway programs have been removing many barriers of entry that often ground talented individuals before their dreams can even take flight. We are proud of our ability to extend opportunities to broader audiences and can’t wait to welcome the next generation of aviation professionals to JetBlue.” Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue JetBlue continues its commitment to developing internal talent by offering current crewmembers both Direct and Flex options toward becoming a pilot or maintenance technician. JetBlue’s program flexibility allows every crewmember to tailor their own experience, further emphasizing the airline’s culture as crewmembers define and work towards career goals. Since the introduction of the first Gateway University program in 2008, the airline’s Gateways have continued to expand, offering opportunities for candidates to find the path and careers goals that are right for them. With a particular focus on internal development, JetBlue announced new Gateways in 2021 expressly for current JetBlue crewmembers interested in becoming Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs), and for immediate family members of JetBlue crewmembers interested in becoming pilots. By making these Gateways available to crewmembers and their families, JetBlue looks to not only encourage the next generation of aviation professionals, but reaffirm the airline’s culture of caring and commitment to crewmember development with increased opportunities for its diverse workforce. JetBlue onboards hundreds of pilots and maintenance technicians each year and remains an employer of choice for aspiring aviators. Its Gateway programs are just one recruiting pipeline for internal and external candidates. About JetBlue Airways JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, and between New York and London. For more information, visit jetblue.com.

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Spotlight

Around the world, widebody aircraft are typically used for long-haul flights. However, this is not always the case. While not often used for long-haul flights, narrowbody aircraft can travel quite a distance. Simple Flying decided to investigate.

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