Lufthansa may have given up on using biofuel to power its planes, but Japan’s ANA (All Nippon Airways) has not – their first (partially) bio-fuel powered plane successfully crossed the Pacific this week. It was the world’s first 787 flight powered by biofuel.
While ANA is a fantastic airline to experience as a passenger, this particular flight was actually a delivery flight from Everett, WA to Haneda Airport, Japan. The plane in question was a 787, outfitted to run on a partial biofuel mix. The flight plan called for it to leave on the 16th at 9:20 (local time) and arrive on the 17th at 23:30 (also local time, because they crossed the date line and lost a day).
Cooking Oil, Also Useful For Jet Engines
The plane ran on a blend of petroleum-derived jet fuel (kerosene) and 15% of a cooking oil biofuel mix. Since the 787 already has relatively low environmental impact, running it on a low-emission fuel gives it a light carbon footprint; compared to, say, a 767, the biofuel-powered 787 showed 30% less CO2 emissions.
Also to show off the flight’s eco-friendliness, ANA designed a (literally) green “Sustainable Aviation BIOFUEL” logo for the plane and the tanker truck (presumably because it’s hard to tell the difference between a plane running on standard jet fuel and one running on biofuel when all you see is the exterior).
This and presumably subsequent biofuel flights are part of the ANA Group’s medium and long-term environmental planning campaign, titled “ANA FLY ECO 2020 – More, Always, To Blue Skies” and running from 2012 to 2020. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to 80% of 2005 levels by 2020.