October 8, 2007 In a move designed to accelerate the development of viable and sustainable clean fuels for commercial aviation, Boeing will team up with Air New Zealand and Rolls-Royce to conduct a biofuel demonstration flight planned for the second half of 2008.
Boeing is exploring second-generation biofuel feed stocks and processes aimed at reducing greenhouse gases throughout their entire lifecycle.
The demonstration flight will use an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 equipped with Rolls-Royce engines. Boeing is in discussions with fuel-source providers around the globe to identify potential biofuels that are available in suitable quantities for laboratory and jet-engine performance testing and in compliance with stringent aviation requirements.
The Air New Zealand bio-jet fuel demo flight will highlight the suitability of environmentally progressive fuel solutions (bio-jet fuels) that differ from traditional biofuel development. Bio-jet fuels will incorporate second-generation methodologies relative to sustainable feedstock source selection and fuel processing, which are uniquely suited for aerospace applications. These bio-jet fuels can potentially be blended with traditional kerosene fuel (Jet-A) to reduce dependency on petroleum-based fuels. The use of sustainable bio-jet feedstock sources avoid deforestation practices and potential competition with global food resources, while helping to lower aviation carbon dioxide outputs.