As the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight was being celebrated in late 2003, it was becoming increasingly clear that aviation's ability to grow and prosper in its second century would depend heavily on mitigating its environmental impact. In particular, the air transport industry was coming under intense scrutiny over its reliance on fossil-based jet fuel, which was seen widely as contributing to global warming. Paradoxically, few foresaw the possibility of ...

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