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Clean Tech Aviation | Flying on biofuel

In februari 2008 CTA started the preparations to introduce Biofuel in Aviation. Looking for a large piston engined aircraft to perform the role of technology demonstrator, they found a Grumman Tracker in the USA owned by Al Hansen and parked in his hangar with more memorial aircrafts in the Mojave desert. It was still in a VFR flying condition and used for demonstration flights. Ben and one of his mechanics undertook a inspection mission to inspect all components and condition of the aircraft in february 2008. Currently CTA BV has its operation at three locations: Ben Cappelle from Marum and his company Clean Tech Aviation are pushing efforts to introduce natural gas as a fuel for aviation purposes. Following the company’s mission to fly cleaner and cheaper, Clean Tech Aviation will develop and test the necessary techniques at its new lab in Groningen. At the test lab itself, three engines for propeller aircrafts and one jet engine will be powered by liquefied and compressed natural gas. These engines are designed for small to medium sized aircrafts, which at the current state only fly on AVGas. With using LNG and CNG instead of AvGas, fuel costs can be lowered by 35%. In addition, the CO2 emission can be reduced by 25%, no lead and nitrogen oxides are released in the atmosphere and the sound pollution if the environment can be limited. Dr. Ir. Jacques Dam, professor for Liquefied Natural Gas Systems at the TU Eindhoven and lecturer LNG Sustainable Technology at the Hanze University is involved in the research together with four PhD students from the TU Eindhoven. Based on their research static and dynamic tests are carried out for the use of modified CNG and LNG engines so that aircraft manufacturers can certify these engines with the aeronautical authorities. If the technique for flying on natural gas are verified, it can also be applied over time can also to larger aircraft. The focus hereby lies on developing new types of devices within the aircraft industry. The gas engine can thereby also provide a stepping stone to a hydrogen engine. Clean Tech Aviation is formed as the Clean Tech Aviation Fuel Initiative Consortium consisting of: Gasunie, GasTerra, Eindhoven University of Technology, EnTranCe, Hanze University Groningen, NLR, DLR, Engie, Technical University Braunschweig, Piper Aircraft. USA, Lycoming USA and Rolls Royce USA.

Contact information

CTA BV Zernikelaan 17 9747 AA Groningen (NL) More information about Clean Tech Aviation can be found on their website.CTA


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