First jet flies on 100% biofuel

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012

The aviation biofuels industry hit a major landmark Monday with the flight of the first civilian plane powered completely by biofuels.

The jet, a Falcon 20, was developed by Canada’s National Research Council and flew over Ottawa on the fuel derived from oilseed crops. It was followed by a second plane that collected emissions data that will later be analyzed by the Canadian NRC.

While there have been commercial test flights on biofuel blends, including a United flight last year that flew on an algae-derived fuel blend, this is the first civilian flight to run 100 percent on plant oil, according to the NRC.

“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 percent biofuel flight,” said Tim Leslie, one of NRC’s pilots, in a statement Monday. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together.”

Applied Research Associates and Chevron Lummus Global produced the fuel. The project was funded by the Canadian government’s Clean Transportation Initiatives and the Green Aviation Research and Development Network.