Sustainable aviation, space flight and air mobility among innovations showcased by Washington state companies at Paris Air Show
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Sustainable fuels. Industry 4.0. Automation. Uncrewed systems. Super/Hypersonic capacity. Advanced air mobility. Commercial space. More than buzzwords, these are some of the strengths found in Washington state that will be the focus of a 100-member delegation at the Paris Air Show this month. Led by Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Commerce Director Mike Fong, the delegates will be making the case that Washington state’s technology-rich supercluster is “Where the Next Big Thing Begins,” as well as showcasing why it continues to be the most competitive business environment (2022 Aerospace Competitive Economic Study) for the manufacture of major aerospace structures and final assembly of aircraft, including #1 rankings for labor productivity, sales and exports, and aerospace engineers.
Washington state has attracted and cultivated leading global aerospace innovators for more than a century. As air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, demand for new aircraft is increasing, as is the need to confront rising carbon dioxide emissions and their global impact. Hydrogen, electric and hybrid hydrogen-electric propulsion systems are making promising inroads on small commuter, private and short-range commercial aircraft. Initial tests have been conducted on retrofitted fossil-fuel aircraft, but new ground-up designs are emerging from factory floors and undergoing flight trials throughout Washington state.
“Washington is a proud leader in aerospace and aviation. Our future in this realm will be built on the innovation, sustainability, clean transportation and new ideas that continue to transform our world,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Washington businesses are exploring sustainable aviation fuels; electric, hydrogen and hybrid propulsion; advanced materials; satellites to deliver broadband; and next-generation engines and thrusters. Our state delegation includes nearly two dozen companies and organizations who represent these values and demonstrate why Washington is one of the best places in the world to do business.”
“Powering the Future: Building Decarbonized Propulsion and Fuel Ecosystems” – Roundtable conversation with Gov. Jay Inslee – June 20
Washington Governor Jay Inslee will host a discussion on sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen-powered flight on Tuesday morning June 20 from 10:30 – 11:15 in the USA Pavilion Form, Hall 3, AB176, Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, France. Gov. Inslee will be joined by industry representatives, the environmental advocacy community, and regulatory bodies to discuss building a sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen ecosystems that are robust for industry, resilient to supply chain challenges, and that meet the highest sustainability and environmental justice standards.
Last month ZeroAvia launched plans to electrify and fly the largest zero-emissions plane using their hydrogen-powered electric propulsion system in an Alaska Airlines Dash 8 Q400 at their development center in Everett, Washington. Headquartered In nearby Arlington since 2020, Eviation continues to rack up orders for its all-electric commuter aircraft Alice.
Also in Washington state: Dutch firm SkyNRG announced plans for an $800-million SAF plant, the Washington Legislature passed a significant SAF tax credit and invested $6.5 million in a Research and Development Center for Sustainable Aviation Fuels at Paine Field in Everett, and Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power and AeroTec announced creation of a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake – Universal Hydrogen completed the first flight of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered regional plane there.
AeroTec and magniX are exhibiting in the Choose Washington booth at PAS, along with Berkley, California startup Twelve, which will be showcasing Co2 transformation technology that can create e-jet fuel from Co2.
In addition, aviation – which contributes 2.5% of the world’s carbon emissions – is a target sector for efforts led by the Washington-based Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association to develop a green hydrogen hub aimed at decarbonizing the hardest-to–reach parts of the economy. The PNWH2 is a public-private collective working to create a hydrogen center of excellence to develop and bring to market solutions to help meet the state and nation’s clean energy goals. They are currently one of 33 final applications with the US Department of Energy for a potential $2 billion federal government investment in a regional hydrogen hub in the Northwest.
Sustainable aviation is just the tip of the iceberg on display at the Washington state exhibit – where even the booth itself is sustainable. Show planners used material made from sustainable and recycled wood products to build the booth and only live plants to decorate. The exhibit also features “Persistence” – a work by Coast Salish artist Peter Boome, a member of the Upper Skagit Tribe in Washington state.
The Choose Washington exhibit features Washington’s dense supercluster of innovation and manufacturing composed of more than 1,500 companies and 130,000 highly-skilled workers responsible for producing over $41 billion in aerospace exports annually – more than California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona and Alabama combined. Washington’s aerospace industry specializes in aerostructures, composites, advanced materials, aircraft interiors, engineering and tooling, avionics, information and communications technologies, research and development, uncrewed and autonomous systems, next-generation air mobility and space.
Aerospace is a key driver of Washington’s overall thriving economy, generating some $70 billion annually and supporting more than 250,000 jobs. Never resting on laurels, government and industry leaders have forged strong partnerships, emphasizing a focus on the future. From employer-driven education and training initiatives to infrastructure and business climate, efforts around the state are collaborating and investing to keep Washington’s aerospace industry at the global forefront for years to come.
Notable is how closely Washington’s powerful technology sector has merged with value-added manufacturing, delivering advances and assets in AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, autonomous machines, augmented and virtual reality, and more. New opportunities and partnerships across industry sectors emerge regularly from the region’s robust ecosystem of tech giants and entrepreneurs.
“Washington’s culture of collaboration and proximity to key innovation clusters enable ideas to be freely exchanged over a lunch or coffee,” said Washington Commerce Director Mike Fong. “We believe strongly that ideas are a commodity to be shared, traded and exchanged. We foster and are incredibly proud of that environment here in Washington State. It allows new ideas to quickly find their way to the marketplace and revolutionize industries.”
For example, starting next year, Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile hopes to “bring cellphone connectivity everywhere,” including expanded coverage to the entire U.S., even in remote areas. T-Mobile will tap into SpaceX Starlink-Gen2 satellites, made just a few miles away in Redmond. About 50% of all low Earth orbit satellites are manufactured in Washington.
View press releases and more in the Washington State Department of Commerce press kit online, visit our booth in the USA Pavilion, Hall 3, B-148, and follow us on social media @WAStateCommerce, #ChooseWashington
The Washington delegation is hosting business networking receptions from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at the booth.