One of its engines was powered by a 50-50 blend of biofuel and normal aircraft fuel. Wednesday's test is the latest in a series of demonstration flights by the aviation industry, which hopes to be using biofuels within five years.
The flight was the first by a US carrier to use an alternative fuel source, and the first in the world to use a twin-engine commercial aircraft (rather than a four-engine plane) to test a biofuel blend. The flight from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport completed a circuit over the Gulf of Mexico, and pilots carried out a series of tests at 38,000ft (11.6km), including a mid-flight engine shutdown.
"The airplane performed perfectly," test pilot Rich Jankowski told the Houston Chronicle newspaper. "There were no problems. It was textbook."
Posted on 11th January 2009
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