Image: Contrails carry clues to more eco-friendly flights

March 12, 2013
Credit: NASA/Eddie Winstead

Puffy white exhaust contrails stream from the engines of NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory in this image taken from an HU-25 Falcon flying about 300 feet behind.

NASA researchers have begun a series of flights using the agency's DC-8 to study the effects of alternate on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitude.

The DC-8 is using conventional JP-8 jet fuel, or a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and an alternative fuel of hydroprocessed esters and that comes from plants.

More than a dozen instruments mounted on the Falcon jet are characterizing the soot and gases streaming from the DC-8, monitoring the way exhaust plumes change in composition as they mix with air, and investigating the role emissions play in contrail formation.

Explore further: NASA begins flight research campaign using alternate jet fuel

Related Stories

Chicken fat fuel emissions look cleaner, greener

April 27, 2011

NASA recently performed emissions testing on alternative, renewable fuels for a greener and less petroleum-dependent future. The search for alternative fuels is driven by environmental concerns as well as a desire for reduced ...

DC-8 flying lab validates laser instruments

August 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Twenty scientists went aloft aboard NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory in late July to conduct an airborne test of four very different laser techniques for remotely measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide and ...

Recommended for you

Volvo to supply Uber with self-driving cars (Update)

November 20, 2017

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said Monday it has signed an agreement to supply "tens of thousands" of self-driving cars to Uber, as the ride-sharing company battles a number of different controversies.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2013
One of the few bright spots after 9/11 was the incredible blue skies when the airliners weren't flying. Living near a large city, the far off whine of a fan jet and a cross-hatch pattern of contrials in the sky is a constant.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.