BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Vegetable oil tested on NZ flight
Vegetable oil tested on NZ flight
A passenger plane has successfully completed a two-hour test flight
partly powered by vegetable oil.
Air New Zealand hailed the flight as a "milestone" in the development of
sustainable fuels that could lower aeroplane emissions and cut costs.
One engine of the Boeing 747-400 was fueled by a 50-50 mixture of
jatropha plant oil and standard A1 jet fuel.
A Virgin Atlantic test flight in February used fuel derived from a blend
of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts.
In Auckland on Tuesday, a range of tests were completed both on the
ground and during the flight, said Air New Zealand Chief Pilot David Morgan.
He said the oil from the plum-sized jatropha fruit performed "well
through both the fuel system and engine".
Air New Zealand said it was the first time a second-generation biofuel
had been used to partly power a passenger plane.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Rob Fyfe said the completion of
Tuesday's flight was "a milestone for the airline and commercial aviation".
Second-generation biofuels are said typically to use a wider range of
plants and release fewer emissions than traditional biofuels such as
The International Air Transport Association says it wants a 10th of
aviation fuel to come from biofuels by 2017.
Critics of biofuels are opposed to turning farmland over to the
cultivation of energy crops at the expense of growing food.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/12/31 01:32:37 GMT
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