UK-based Virgin Atlantic airlines has flown the world’s first flight of a commercial airlines running on biofuel today.
This story from Fox News says the flight from England to The Netherlands ran on a fuel made from coconut and babassu oils:
“This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel sooner than expected,” Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s president, said before the Boeing 747 flew from London’s Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
He said the flight would provide “crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.
Sunday’s flight was partially fueled with a biofuel mixture of coconut and babassu oil in one of its four main fuel tanks. The jet carried pilots and several technicians, but no passengers.
Virgin Atlantic spokesman Paul Charles predicted this biofuel would produce much less CO2 than regular jet fuel, but said it will take weeks to analyze the data from Sunday’s flight.
The article goes on to say that the flight comes as airlines are trying to find ways to beat the high price of oil while also reducing their carbon footprint. Virgin officials point out that they had to make no modifications to the aircraft for the biofuel.