KLM Schedules First Biofuel Test Flight With Passengers


photo: abdallahh via flickr.

Mark your calendars for November 23rd. That's when the first aviation biofuel test flight with passengers aboard is scheduled to take place, and the first test flight in Europe. Dutch airline KLM has announced that "a select group of passengers" will be ride in a Boeing 747 powered in one engine by a mixture of 50% bio-kerosene and 50% conventional aviation fuel:Unlike other test flights to date where a number of different feedstocks were used to create the aviation biofuel -- some mixture jatropha, algae and camelina most often -- this fuel will be made exclusively from camelina.

Testing has shown that using camelina-based aviation fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 84% compared to petroleum-based fuels. In test flights over the past twelve months by Continental and JAL, aviation biofuels were found to be more fuel efficient than conventional fuels.

Input From All Relevant Parties Needed
In touting the test flight KLM President & CEO Peter Hartman said, "This is an important step on the road to completely sustainable aviation. KLM has joined forces with its partners to vigorously stimulate further development of alternative fuels. In so doing, we need to rely on the input and support of all the relevant parties: The business community, government and society at large."

Sounds like a call for comment to me. So what do TreeHugger readers think? Even with the best biofuels, is there a future for mass commercial aviation?

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Tags: Airlines | Airplanes | Biofuels | Renewable Energy

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