Plenty of airlines are testing out biofuels in passenger jets, but helicopters have largely been ignored — until now. Australia-based Delta Helicopters is developing what it says is the first biofuel-capable diesel helicopter in the world. Dubbed the D2, Delta claims that the helicopter will use significantly less fuel while getting 30-40% more range per gallon than standard engines.
The company estimates that the D2 helicopter, which features a four-cylinder, two-stroke, water-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine, will use 40% less fuel than gasoline aviation engines and 75% less fuel than turbine aviation engines.
There’s just one catch: you have to build the helicopter yourself. Delta plans to sell the D2 as a DIY kit for farmers in remote areas who already have diesel for use in farm machinery. When fully constructed, the helicopter is worth approximately $200,000. No word on how much the kit will cost, but it should be available by the end of the year.