The British aircraft made the first ever flight on fully synthetic fuel.
British military pilot Peter Hackett made a historically significant flight on the Ikarus C42 ultralight aircraft, which was fueled with fully synthetic fuel for the first time. Fuel for aviation is not new, but there was no complete confidence in it, and a mixture was always poured into the tanks, where the usual kerosene was consistently more than 50%. This flight, according to the military, will allow them to be the first in the country to switch to a carbon-neutral scheme, much earlier than the deadlines set by the authorities.
The manufacturer of the aircraft engine, Rotax, did not reveal any violations in its operation after the flight, Hackett also did not report problems. Moreover, during ground tests at the CFS Aero repair base, it was revealed that when working with synthetic fuel, the engine heats up less, which increases its resource. The new fuel received the designation UL91, and will be sold under the commercial name ZERO SynAvGas.
The main benefit for the military is that UL91 is synthesized by the Fischer-Tropsch process from ordinary water and carbon dioxide. And therefore, the plant for its production can be put where it is difficult to bring raw materials – for example, at a remote military base or on an aircraft carrier to refuel aircraft on board. The Royal Air Force plans to create such a station by 2025, and by 2040 completely switch to synthetic fuel.
The manufacturer of the new fuel is the British company Zero Petroleum, which reported that it coped with the task in just five months. They bet that in addition to cheapness and reliability, this fuel also creates 90% less emissions than fossil fuel. Britain has a real chance to switch at least aviation to a carbon-neutral scheme of work by 2050, as many countries around the world want.