Dec 13, 2017 in Research

History of Aviation

In the last 90 years, aviation has grown to be an inevitable part of modern society. It gives people opportunity to move around the world saving time. Petroleum fuels power aviation. Aviation fuel is a special type of fuel that is petroleum-based and used in power aircraft. The quality of such fuel is usually better than that for the road transport. It contains additives which help to reduce icing risk or explosion caused by high temperatures (The History of Jet Fuel, n.d.). Alcohol mixtures or any other alternative fuel may be used only experimentally, however alcohol cannot be used in the certified specification of aviation fuel. Fuel quality is usually affected to the difficult starting extent under the conditions of subsequent low temperature (Goodger, 1963).

In Germany, Hans von Ohain has created the first aviation turbine engine. He used gasoline because of its easy evaporation and known productivity properties in aircraft with piston engine. The first jet engine fuel specification made in Britain, was presented by the end of World War II and consisted of what was actually an illuminating kerosene. This specification became outdated and was replaced by D.Eng.RD 2494. The American specification was likely received from the aviation gasoline specification, whilst the British specification showed the same properties as the illuminating kerosene. Thereafter, kerosene with high flash point was presented to lower the fire risk aboard.

In 1944, somebody suggested a method to mix aviation gasoline with kerosene to form Jet Mix, like JP-4. JP-5 (avcat, NATO F-44), a kerosene with high flash point made by the Navy for use in Jet Mix. Later on, JP-5 was provided in MIL-F-5624B. The SR-71 development needed a new fuel that has a low vapor pressure and perfect thermal oxidative stability to meet the required specifications of high altitude and Mach 3+ cruising (The History of Jet Fuel, n.d.).

Fuel produced for wick lamps like illuminating kerosene, was used to provide fuel to the first turbine engines. U.S. Air Force started to use “wide-cut” fuel after World War II, which is basically a mix of hydro-carbon hat spans the boiling ranges of gasoline and kerosine. In comparison to the fuel of a kerosene type, wide-cut jet fuel has appeared to have tactical disadvantages due to its higher instability: greater losses at high altitudes due to evaporation, greater risk of fire on the ground, greater plane crashes, because of being fueled with wide-cut fuel were less able to survive. The U.S. Navy used kerosine fuel with high flash point (JP-5) on aircraft carriers because of safety measures since the early 1950s. It is still used in Canada and Alaska because it is suitable to cold climates. But kerosine-type fuels – dominate in other parts of the world (Aviation Fuels Technical Review, 2006, p. 1). Jet A fuel is used in the United States, when the rest of the world uses Jet A-1. The main difference between the two fuels is the freezing point. Thus, Jet A is characterized by a higher maximum freezing point. There is an idea that Jet A-1 is more suitable for long international flights, especially when it goes about polar routes during the winter time. But, lower freezing point makes it more expensive. The decision of using Jet A in the United States is related to fuel price and availability issues.

Aircraft travel and flight paths increase change more frequently since September 11th 2001, a greater number of people are open to aviation fuel pollution. It looks like aviation fuel is causing greater pollution than transportation. The alternative aviation fuels production releases the greenhouse gas emission that is called carbon dioxide and its quantity depends on the feedstock. The aero engine combustion process produces a lot of emissions. The main aviation contributors to climate change are CO2 nitrogen oxides, contrails and cirrus clouds (SBAC Aviation and Environment Briefing Papers, n.d., p. 2).

The aircraft industry is keeping to work on fuel economy measures as a main way to lower carbon emissions and spendings. The aviation authorities are looking at methods to improve the use of satellite-guided aircrafts through the system. Manufacturers are also focused on the new engines development and lightweight jets that will help fuel preservation.  Fuel consumption depends on aircraft’s design and weight (Aviation Industry Focuses on Fuel Conservation, 2009).

A lot of research has been done to find alternative fuel. Substitutions like solar water heating are already effective enough to replace fossil fuel burning power stations. It does not look like peak oil will mean the end of the world, but it will result in great landscape changes (Tomes, 2009). Bio-fuel, which may also be used instead of the ordinary one, is made from plants or animals. Ethanol is combined with gasoline, being used in car industry. Bio-fuel is usually obtaining process is usually combustion. There is no other way to lower the effects of our suffering planet, than to develop alternative energy sources (Benefits of Recycling, 2013).

Air transport is considered to be the sector of high growth. It accounts for around 8% of world oil consumption. It is necessary to take into account a drive to combat climate change, a backdrop of fossil fuel depletion, and the environmental influence of air transport needs. Hence, any alternative fuels can be of crucial importance (Fuels for the aviation industry, 2013).

Related essays