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UK: First commercial aircraft to be powered by biofuel

Articles / Future Fuels
Posted by gfoat on Feb 24, 2008 - 07:07 AM

A commercial airline to be powered partly by bio fuel has taken off from London Heathrow today. The plane will have no passengers on board. The Virgin Atlantic [1] Boeing 747 flies to Amsterdam's Schipol airport. The 747-400 / registration GV-WOW [2], operating as Flt. VS811P, is reported to fly using a 20% biofuel blend of coconut and babassu oil [3] in one of its fuel tanks. Branson said his fuel was completely environmentally and socially sustainable. This test flight will be piloted by Captain Geoff Andreasen, Virgin Atlantic's Chief Boeing pilot. The 747 took off from London Heathrow (11.30am 24/02/08) and will arrive in Amsterdam at 13.30 local time if things go to plan [4]! The fuel is said to be provided by Seattle-based Imperium Renewables. The airline and its partners are testing a number of bio fuels to determine which is most effective at altitude. The jet engines and aircraft needed no special modifications to take the fuel. Could this be the start of a Green Airways [5] ?

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