This evening at 9pm, the Gulfstream G450 airplane will become the first trans-Atlantic flight to be powered partially by biofuel (supplied by Honeywell). The flight will take off from Morristown, New Jersey and will land Saturday morning at Paris-Le Bourget, carrying pilot Ron Weight and two Honeywell executives. The airplane’s engines have not been refitted for the biofuel, making this flight an important test.
Honeywell is confident that the Gulfstream’s engine will perform normally with the biofuel. This flight will be the first trans-ocean biofuel flight, but in just two days time, it will not be the longest! A Boeing 747-8 taking off from Everett, Washington, will also make its way to Paris powered by biofuel (also from Honeywell). The longer distance and commercial sized aircraft will show the world just what alternative fuels can do.
Both planes are participating in the Paris air show, representing Boeing and Honeywell in an attempt to prove biofuel’s effectiveness and reliability. Aside from proving its equivalence to petroleum based fuels, the transition to biofuel would also drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the entire airline industry.
Still, the planes will not be powered by 100% biofuel. The Gulfstream will burn a 50% mix of biofuel and petroleum based fuel, and the Boeing will use only 15% biofuel. This is due to biofuel’s lack of certain aromatics that help tighten plastic seals in jet engines.
Taking these initial flights into consideration, the American Standards Body will give final approval or disapproval on biofuels for the airline industry by July 1, after which commercial flights could start using biofuels in their daily schedules.
Via The Guardian
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