Monday, February 25, 2008

Virgin Atlantic makes history flying first bio-fuel plane

Virgin Atlantic Airways made the news yesterday by reportedly flying the world's first airplane to fly on renewable fuel. The Boeing 747 aircraft flew from London's Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam using a biofuel composed of babassu oil and coconut oil. No modifications were made to either the aircraft or its engines to enable the flight to take place.

Commenting just before the flight, Sir Richard Branson, the President of Virgin Atlantic said:
"Today marks a biofuel breakthrough for the whole airline industry. Virgin Atlantic, and its partners, are proving that you can find an alternative to traditional jet fuel and fly a plane on new technology, such as sustainable biofuel. This pioneering flight will enable those of us who are serious about reducing our carbon emissions to go on developing the fuels of the future, fuels which will power our aircraft in the years ahead through sustainable next-generation oils, such as algae."

Story from the Associated Press:

It's important to note that this historic flight however was in fact fueled by 80% conventional fuel and only 20% biofuel. Also, the critics are lined up questioning just how much benefit these fuel alternatives help the planet. Nevertheless, this should be seen as an advancement toward reducing emissions (and saving on the cost of regular jetfuel) and harm to the environment. Let further experiements and research continue. Way to go Virgin Atlantic and partners.