Aircraft manufacturer Airbus might be bringing with it to the Paris Air Show a green concept of an aircraft passenger cabin from the year 2050, but rival Boeing is focused more on the here and now. The Washington-based company said recently it will be flying one of its new 747-8 Freighter aircraft to the same air show powered by biofuel.
Now given that the biofuels industry, especially domestically, still has a ways to go before it can singularly fuel a plane like this on such a long journey, Boeing said the 747-8 will fly on a blend of 15 percent camelina-based biofuel mixed with 85 percent traditional kerosene fuel (Jet-A). That should help it easily make the 4,989 mile transatlantic flight without issue, while leaving less of a carbon footprint in its wake.
Boeing said of the fuel’s camelina biomix that this plant source was grown in Montana and processed by Honeywell’s UOP. The aircraft manufacturer reportedly did not have to make any changes to the airplane, its engines or operating procedures prior to departure to accommodate biofuel use, and is following what it describes as normal flight parameters approved in advance by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The 747-8, unlike the commercial aircraft Boeing gives to airlines to fly consumers in, is used to haul cargo. The biofuel it is flying off of is the result of a five year program the company has been involved in alongside others focused on sustainable aviation biofuel development. ASTM International, the global standards body that oversees the jet fuel specification in North America, is said to have recently approved an amendment that should help speed up seeing more planes like this flying on greener fuel sources.