Paris 'Green' Initiatives: Electric Taxi, Transatlantic Biofuel

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The Paris Air Show this week provides a venue for companies to show off their "green" initiatives. Two jets flew in from North America powered by alternative fuels. A Gulfstream G450 operated by Honeywell flew across the pond with "Honeywell Green Jet Fuel," derived from camelina, mixed in a 50/50 blend with standard jet fuel in one of its two engines. And Boeing flew its new 747-8 freighter trans-Atlantic with a blend of 15 percent camelina-based biofuel and 85 percent Jet-A in all four engines. Honeywell also said it will partner with Safran, a French aerospace company, to develop a taxi system that will drive aircraft on the ground using the electric APU instead of jet fuel. The system could save up to 4 percent of fuel consumption for airline operations.

The electric-taxi system not only reduces air pollution, it saves money compared to normal taxi operations. "Today, the cost of fuel -- and the related cost of carbon emissions -- are right at the top of the list of the biggest concerns for any airline," said Tim Mahoney, CEO of Honeywell Aerospace. "By using the new electric green taxiing system to provide the power needed for ground-level maneuvering, Honeywell and Safran can save our airline customers several hundred thousand dollars per aircraft per year."