Contrails and the first hydrogen flight around the world

Boeing and NASA are at the forefront of environmental sustainability in aviation, working together to tackle the issue of contrails produced by aeroplanes that trap heat in the atmosphere. Their joint efforts have led to the testing of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator Explorer 737-10 aircraft, which performed flights using tanks filled alternately with 100% ecological jet fuel and a low-sulfur version of conventional jet fuel. A NASA DC-8 aircraft followed closely behind, measuring the emissions and contrail formation from each type of fuel.

The use of alternative fuels, particularly sustainable aviation fuels, can have a significant impact on reducing the environmental footprint of aviation. According to research models, these fuels can release fewer soot particles, which should result in fewer crystals creating contrails. The crystals that form are expected to grow more prominent, and as they fall and melt in the warmer air below, they will contribute to reducing the environmental impact of contrails.

Swiss Bertrand Piccard’s Climate Impulse project is set to revolutionise ecological aviation. The plan is to fly worldwide in an innovative aircraft powered by ecological hydrogen. The aircraft, designed to last nine days without a stopover, features a small capsule for the pilots and two hydrogen tanks on the sides, connected by a single thin wing. Each tank is equipped with a front-mounted three-blade propeller and tail. The project involves the Syensqo scientific group, aviation companies Airbus SE, Daher, ArianeGroup, and Capgemini SE, a leading information technology and data company.

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