Alternative Fuel Studies Take Flight: Following a series of ground tests completed in 2010 and 2012, NASA began a series of flight tests in 2013 to study emissions from new blends of aviation gas that includes biofuel from renewable sources.
NASA researchers are investigating the effect that a 50-50 blend of alternate biofuel has on jet engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitude. The research involved flying NASA's DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while an instrumented NASA Falcon HU-25 aircraft trailed behind at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 10 miles.
Preliminary results indicate that the bio fuel blends tested may substantially reduce the emission of black carbon, sulfates and organics. Future research will further study the impact that using bio fuel blends has on the formation of aircraft contrails. A second phase of ACCESS flights is planned for 2014.
Seen here is the puffy white exhaust contrails stream from the engines of NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory during tests of alternative jet engine fuel emissions.
Image Credit: NASA / Eddie Winstead#flynasa #nasaaero #aeronautics #airplane #aircraft #ecofuel #biofuel #altfuel #greenenergy #research #nasa