Virgin Atlantic to Use First-Generation Feedstock Instead of an Algae-Based Biofuel for Boeing 747 Test Flight

 

virginatlantic7471.jpegIn what has become a somewhat confusing change in terminology, Boeing has announced it will use a first-generation feedstock for the fuel to be used in its upcoming demonstration flight this month.

It was first reported in January that Virgin Atlantic would test flight a Boeing 747 jetliner using a biofuel, without naming the fuel. An algae-derived biofuel was, however, mentioned as a strong possibility for the flight between London Heathrow airport and Amsterdam. The plane will carry a limited flight crew and no passengers.

Next, an official of the UK Department of Transport claimed in a document leaked to Flight International that a 20% mixture of algae biofuel and regular jet fuel will be used in one engine for the test.

The latest comes from a Boeing official who said, in an interveiw with Flight at the Singapore air show, the Virgin Flight will definitely not use algae-derived biofuel in the test. Instead, a first-generation feedstock, such as soy, canola, babassu or palm oil will be the source of the biofuel.

The use of a hydrogenated fuel would, as one expert put it, “be a good demonstration of proof of concept.” He did say, however, that algae will be considered as a fuel source in the future.

Well, whatever they use, it’ll be a first for the commercial aviation industry. An Airbus 380 flew with a gas-to-liquid biofuel a few weeks ago, proving that a biofuel was an option, but in their case it was a fuel derived from fossil deposits.

The test is slated for the end of February, so we’ll know soon what fuel was used in the flight.

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About the Author

My home state is Illinois, and my hometown a little railroad/farming community named Galesburg.We lived on a small farm during my high school years and I became very aware of nature and it’s wonders. I loved the out of doors, working with animals, plowing fields and harvesting crops. Those were very good years.After a stint in the Army during the Korean war my broadcasting career took off at the local radio station, a 250 watt “teapot” as it was called in those days. My first job was as an engineer, then the ham came out and I became an announcer/newsman, graduating after several years to a larger market and a stint as a TV journalist/photographer. Cold, wet weather led me to the southwest where I’ve lived for most of the last 40 years, with a couple of years out to have fun working as a private investigator in San Francisco, and a few years working in Las Vegas hotels and casinos. In all, its been a real ride.After retiring a few years back I became fascinated with the efforts being made to find alternative energy sources. I’ve watched our environment deteriorate during my lifetime, and now it’s my chance to join the chorus of intelligent and caring individuals making a difference one day at a time.

  • Uncle B

    Large “euthanasia” camps must be set up for sub-humans who cannot afford jet air travel. If nothing is done about these sub-humans, they will create hungry and angry mobs and further destroy the property of the well to do. We must feel free to fly at any cost. Labor, Unions and any others who disagree must be sent to camps.

  • Uncle B

    Large “euthanasia” camps must be set up for sub-humans who cannot afford jet air travel. If nothing is done about these sub-humans, they will create hungry and angry mobs and further destroy the property of the well to do. We must feel free to fly at any cost. Labor, Unions and any others who disagree must be sent to camps.

  • Uncle B

    Large “euthanasia” camps must be set up for sub-humans who cannot afford jet air travel. If nothing is done about these sub-humans, they will create hungry and angry mobs and further destroy the property of the well to do. We must feel free to fly at any cost. Labor, Unions and any others who disagree must be sent to camps.