Continental, Boeing Schedule Biofuel Test Flight For 2009

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[social_buttons] Continental Airlines, Boeing, and GE Aviation have scheduled a biofuel test flight for early 2009, citing the desire to identify sustainable fuel alternatives for the aviation industry. Continental may be the first US carrier to do so and, in the words of president and CEO of GE aviation, is “taking an important step in advancing the use of sustainable biofuels in aviation.”

The three companies are working together to identify a non-food based, second-generation biofuel that won’t significantly impact forests or water resources. No details on the fuel are available, but it will have to be production ready in quantities sufficient to power the test-flight and mix seamlessly with kerosene aviation fuel (Jet-A).

General Electric is playing a supporting role via its 50/50 share in CFM, the company that will provide the biofuel-ready, CFM56-7B engines. Boeing will provide the aircraft, a Next-Generation 737.

Continental is hoping the announcement will underscore their “commitment to environmental responsibility” (their words). In the last 10 years, the company has reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel consumption by 35% by streamlining operations and investing $12 billion in new fuel-efficient aircraft.

Continental won’t be the first to test out alternative fuels, however. Virgin Atlantic has already tested a 20% biofuel blend in their aircraft. For more stories about biofuel uses for aviation, click here.

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Switchgrass Could Displace 30% of US Petroleum Usage With 94% GHG Reduction

Source: Continental Airlines (Mar. 13, 08): Continental Airlines, Boeing and GE Aviation Announce Plans for Sustainable Biofuels Flight Demonstration


Photo Credit: Boeing



In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.