Virgin Atlantic conducts successful bio-fuel demonstration flight
25 February 2008
Heathrow, London: Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its bio-fuel demonstration flight has been a success. The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 took off from Heathrow Airport and landed at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with one of the fuel tanks carrying specially modified bio-fuel mixture.
Flamboyant British entrepreneur, Richard Branson, owns Virgin Atlantic. He said that the flight was a first step towards reducing carbon emissions of aircraft. "This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel sooner than expected," Branson said just before the Boeing 747 flew from London's Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
According to Branson, the flight would provide "crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint."
The jumbo's engines were not modified and one of the four main fuel tanks was carrying a bio-fuel mixture of coconut and babassu oil. According to the airline the oils don't compete with staple food sources.
The jumbo carried five people onboard including pilots and technicians, but no passengers. It reached an altitude of 25,000 ft, the highest it was planned to reach.