In spite of all the bad news about first-generation biofuels, it's still a thrill to hear that Virgin Atlantic announced yesterday a 747 flown on a mixture of about 20 percent biofuel and the rest kerosene will lift off for a test flight in February, many months earlier than planned.
The passengerless Virgin flight from London to Amsterdam will be a Boeing 747-400 and will fly the approximately 1.5-hour flight on the alternative fuel, which Virgin spokesman Paul Charles wouldn't identify but said is from a "sustainable" source that doesn't compete with food or freshwater supplies. Algae, perhaps? Virgin moved up the time table for its biofuel pilot flight as initial engine testing results were better than expected, according to the company. Air New Zealand also plans test flights later this year, but biofuel-powered commercial flights are still supposedly a couple of years away. Via NYTimes