Posted By RichC on November 14, 2008
I do enjoy seeing biodiesel and aviation come together and last week the BioJet flew 1776 miles of a 2496 mile flight from Reno, Nevada to Leesburg, Florida on a blend of soy and animal fat biodiesel. According to Scientific American, “the Aero L-29 jet kept the biodiesel from congealing at high altitude by continuously heating it—and landing every 300 miles or so to refuel. The flight is a proof of principle, according to Green Flight International CEO Doug Rodante, and is aimed at addressing the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning jet fuel — roughly 3 percent of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but released in a very bad spot—high in the atmosphere.” Publicity like this is a good for renewable fuels and good for the environment.
Orlando, FL – November 1, 2008 – Green Flight International President and CEO Douglas Rodante and Chief Pilot Carol Sugars became the first flight crew to successfully cross the U.S. in a jet powered predominantly on environmentally-friendly Biofuel.
The record-setting flight originated in Reno, NV and concluded in Leesburg, FL on Nov 1, after a total flight time of 11 hours, 13 minutes, flown at altitudes ranging from 13,000 to 17,000 feet.
“This transcontinental flight was distinctive in that 1,776 miles of the 2,486 total miles flown were powered on 100% Biofuel,” said Rodante. Only 710 miles of the flight were powered by a mixture of 50% Biofuel and 50% standard jet fuel. The 50/50 fuel mix was used to compare performance data and demonstrate the capability of blending Biofuel with existing jet fuel supplies.
Rodante and Sugars made aviation history in October 2007 when they became the first crew to pilot a jet aircraft powered entirely on Biofuel. The pair has once again demonstrated the viability of renewable fuels in aviation by completing their more recent Biofuel-powered coast-to-coast flight. “These flights prove that we have the capability of supplementing our energy requirements with safe, environmentally-friendly alternatives to petroleum,” said Rodante. “And the Biofuel is produced in the U.S., which essentially negates our dependency on foreign fuel supplies.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has expressed an interest in using the Orlando-based Green Flight’s Biofuel test program as a template to assess future generations of aviation fuels. “There is absolutely no room for error in a single engine jet aircraft operating on 100% Biofuel,” said Chief Pilot Sugars. “The extended cross-country experimental flight operated to stringent specifications required by the FAA in order to ensure public safety.”
Green Flight International’s flight was sponsored in part by Erie, PA-based companies, Lake Erie Biofuels, LLC., and Logistics Plus, for assuming fuel supply and transport responsibilities; and Lockheed Martin Corporation’s [NYSE: LMT] Missiles and Fire Control business unit of Orlando, Fla., provided laboratory testing and support.
The Green Flight team is dedicated to continue their work in promoting the use of eco-friendly renewable fuels in aviation, and is currently developing another record-breaking flight.