World's First Flight Powered by 100% Algae Biofuels Completed

diamond aircraft DA42 new generation photo

photo: Diamond Aircraft

A new and notable world's first in the realm of aviation biofuels: EADS, maker of the Airbus and lots of defense and transport aircraft, has announced the completion of the first flight powered entirely by algae-based biofuel.

A growing number of companies are engaged in testing algae-based aviation biofuel, but until now these have all been done either with a blend of biofuel and fossil fuels, or with biofuel powering just one of multiple jet engines.The flight was made in a Diamond Aircraft DA42 New Generation twin-prop plane at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin. A repeat flight will be made at the Farnborough Airshow in England.

Confirmed (Again), Biofuels More Efficient in Jet Engines Than Kerosene
Confirming what other biofuel test flights have show, EADS points out that biofuels are more fuel efficient in flight than petroleum-based fuels. The DA42 used almost half a gallon less fuel per hour using the algae fuel than it would have had it been powered by kerosene-based jet fuel. What's more, the exhaust from the plane had an eight time lower hydrocarbon content, as well as lower nitrogen and sulphur emissions.

Previous tests by Japan Airlines have shown that by using camelina as a feedstock for aviation biofuel, carbon emission reductions of up to 84% over conventional jet fuel are possible.

Fully Biofuel-Powered Test Route by 2015
In their press release, EADS notes that they hope to have a fully biofuel-powered test route operating within five years, with Paris to Toulouse (a distance of 365 miles) touted as a contender. They also note that by 2030 they aim to have 10% of their fleet flying on pure or blended biofuels.

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More on Aviation Biofuel:
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