First Transcontinental Biodiesel Flight

John Davis

Florida-based Green Flight International and Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Biofuels have teamed up to complete the first non-stop, transcontinental flight in a jet powered predominantly by biodiesel.

This press release from Green Flight says the flight took off from Reno, Nevada and landed in Leesburg, Florida, flying for more than 11 hours:

“This transcontinental flight was distinctive in that 1,776 miles of the 2,486 total miles flown were powered on 100% biofuel,” said [Green Flight International President and CEO Douglas] Rodante. Only 710 miles of the flight were powered by a mixture of 50% biofuel and 50% standard jet fuel. The 50/50 fuel mix was used to compare performance data and demonstrate the capability of blending biofuel with existing jet fuel supplies.

“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 Orlando-based Green Flight’s biofuel test program as a template to assess future generations of aviation fuels. “There is absolutely no room for error in a single engine jet aircraft operating on 100% biofuel,” said Chief Pilot [Carol] Sugars. “The extended cross-country experimental flight operated to stringent specifications required by the FAA in order to ensure public safety.”

Green Flight officials promise another record-breaking flight in the future… maybe around the world next time.