Flight International, April 2023

Our environment special issue looks at some of the recent advances made on the path towards achieving emissions-free flight, including Universal Hydrogen’s debut sortie aboard a Dash 8 airliner – our front cover choice.

We explore the growing efforts being made by leading air forces to address their self-acknowledged “carbon problem”, and ask if sustainable aviation fuels could contribute to finding a solution. And can the fledgling electric vertical take-off and landing industry succeed in transforming the way we travel?

Also this issue: how Dreamliner deals will help new carrier Riyadh Air and Saudia lift the kingdom’s growth ambitions; Lockheed Martin resumes F-35 deliveries after engine issue is resolved; and coverage from the Aero India, Avalon, IDEX and Heli-Expo shows.

Plus, will Ukraine’s call for the donation of advanced Western fighters deliver Kyiv ‘wings for freedom’?

Use the links below to access our latest issue’s content in web-optimised format, and subscribers can view our “page-turner” digital replica of the magazine and download a pdf version at the foot of the page. Subscribers can also access our archived issues by clicking on the filing cabinet drawer symbol next to the search icon.

FINT April 23 cover

Cover story

Universal Dash 8 first fight 2 March 2023

‘It’s a big deal’: Universal Hydrogen chief on hydrogen-retrofitted Dash 8’s first flight

By Howard Hardee, Moses Lake, Washington

The first flight of a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 powered partly by a hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system is just the beginning of start-up Universal Hydrogen’s strategy to decarbonise airline travel.

Lead story

Riyadh Air-Boeing

Saudi aircraft orders underscore home carrier ambitions


Any questions about the ambitions of Saudi Arabia’s newly established Riyadh-based national airline were quickly answered by an opening fleet commitment for up to 72 Boeing 787-9s.


EDGE stand c EDGE

Edge stamps credentials as technology innovator

By , Abu Dhabi

In its fourth year, the UAE defence house has grown portfolio of products developed in-house more than fivefold.

AIM-120 on missile launch rail c Raytheon

‘More missiles in the cupboard’: Australia pushes domestic munition production


Under a national defence initiative, Canberra is working with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to develop a manufacturing base capable of producing precision-guided weapons domestically.


Airlines struggle to fast-track consolidation


It is not without reason that the airline industry is one of the least consolidated sectors globally. Regular competition issues are compounded by the inherently international nature of the business, which for a majority of operators involves connecting cities in different countries, even if the consolidation itself is not cross-border.

Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Volocopter chief leads push to certification


Volocopter chief executive Dirk Hoke is laser focused on seeing his company become the world’s first true urban air mobility (UAM) provider in 2024.

Alice debut flight

Eviation close to naming new suppliers, prepping for 2025 kick-off of certification flight testing


Several months after completing first flight of its prototype electric aircraft, US developer Eviation is working to secure manufacturing partners and additional funding, while remaining on track to begin certification flight testing in 2025.

fello'fly Transatlantic Flight Test

Airbus to continue fello’fly flight tests via SESAR-backed Geese project


Airbus is pressing ahead with plans to bring its fello’fly vortex recovery system (VRS) into commercial service later this decade and will further refine the concept – and its integration into airline operations – with another round of flight tests conducted through a European research project.

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A-10 elephant walk

Why Western air forces are taking fresh aim at their ‘carbon problem’

By Mark Pilling

The defence world is fast waking up to the profound influence climate change will have on warfare. How will this impact play out and can the sector manage its greenhouse gas emissions?


How SAF experimentation is fuelling change for military operators

By Mark Pilling

Compared to commercial aviation, the defence sector has been trailing in taking action to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions – but change is afoot.

Emirates GE90 flight demo 2023_engine_2_

Inside the effort to standardise 100% ‘drop-in’ sustainable aviation fuel

By Howard Hardee

An effort is underway to power aircraft entirely with synthetic and sustainably derived jet fuel. Before that happens, the industry needs to agree on a technical definition of sustainable aviation fuel. 

Luthansa Cargo 777F with Aeroshark

How airlines are looking to ‘one-percenters’ to decarbonise by degrees


With demands intensifying for aviation to cut its emissions, airlines increasingly are turning to “one percenters”, the quick fixes which deliver immediate results. They are also turning to interim technologies while they wait for bigger breakthroughs.

Joby and Skyports Press Release 2

Will electric air taxis really soar over LA during the 2028 Olympics? Industry players bank on it

By Howard Hardee

Some believers in emerging aviation technology have a futuristic vision of a highly connected fleet of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in the sky above Southern California within five years. Type certification is the next big step. 

Defence – Ukraine

Ukraine livery F-16s

Is Ukraine’s Western fighter request a flight of fancy?


Ukraine is trying to convince NATO nations that donated Western fighters would give Kyiv a decisive edge in its war against Russian invaders. We assess whether the proposal has wings.

Women in aviation

Danielle McLean


How the hydrogen revolution inspired engineer Danielle McLean


In 2018, Danielle McLean was studying for her Master’s degree while working as an aerospace engineer at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas. During a class about sustainable aviation, she had an epiphany.