It Is What It Is, Dude
Date registered: Mar 2006
Vehicle: 1978 107.024 RIP
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NZ airline flies jetliner partly run on veggie oil
My Way News - NZ airline flies jetliner partly run on veggie oil
Dec 30, 8:11 AM (ET)
By RAY LILLEY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A passenger jet powered in part by vegetable oil successfully completed a two-hour flight Tuesday to test a biofuel that could lower airplane emissions and cut costs, Air New Zealand said.
One engine of a Boeing 747-400 airplane was powered by a 50-50 blend of oil from jatropha plants and standard A1 jet fuel.
This year has seen an unprecedented push for alternative fuels by airlines, which were slammed by skyrocketing oil prices earlier in 2008 and are now bracing for a falloff in air travel in the face of a global economic slowdown.
While Air New Zealand couldn't say whether the blend would be cheaper than standard jet fuel since jatropha is not yet produced on a commercial scale, the company expects the blend to be "cost competitive," according to company spokeswoman Tracy Mills.
(AP) Test Pilot , Captain Keith Pattie carries out pre-flight checks before their test of a Bio Fuel...
Biofuels were once regarded as impractical for aviation because most freeze at the low temperatures encountered at cruising altitudes. But tests show jatropha, whose seeds yield an oil already used to produce fuels like biodiesel, has an even lower freezing point than jet fuel.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Rob Fyfe called the flight "a milestone for the airline and commercial aviation."