Biofuel-powered jet completes transcontinental flight
November 13, 2008 Following on from its breakthrough flight in October last year, Green Flight International has set another green-aviation record, this time flying a jet across the U.S. using environmentally-friendly Biofuel. Piloted by President and CEO Douglas Rodante and Chief Pilot Carol Sugars, BioJet 1 completed the flight from Reno, Nevada to Leesburg, Florida in just over 11 hours at altitudes ranging from 13,000 to 17,000 feet. While 1,776 miles where flown on 100% Biofuel, a 50/50 mix of Biofuel and standard jet fuel was used for the remainder of the 2,486 journey in order to compare performance data and also demonstrate the ability to blend these fuel types.
While definitive figures are difficult to come by, estimates put the contribution of airlines to emissions at around 2% globally with aircraft being comparable to automobiles in terms of fuel consumption per passenger mile. This may not seem like a huge slice of the pie, but because aircraft release other harmful gases including smog producing NOx, and because their emissions are released directly into the upper atmosphere where they do more damage, jet aircraft punch above their weight when it comes to global warming.
As well taking steps to help curb aircraft emissions and, Orlando-based Green Flight also recognizes the economic advantage for the U.S in pursuing the use of biofuels derived from algae and therefore reduce dependence on oil.
“These flights prove that we have the capability of supplementing our energy requirements with safe, environmentally-friendly alternatives to petroleum,” said Rodante. “And the Biofuel is produced in the U.S., which essentially negates our dependency on foreign fuel supplies.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has expressed an interest in using the Green Flight’s Biofuel test program as a template to assess future generations of aviation fuels.
The Green Flight team has already set its sights on another record-breaking flight - a round the world attempt slated for 2010.