Aviation News

November 23, 2009

KLM Flies First Passenger Flight Using Biofuel

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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Photo by Joop Stroes

Photo by Joop Stroes

Today, KLM became the first airline to operate a passenger flight using biofuel, which they hope one day will reduce carbon emissions and hopefully lower the cost of fuel in a very cash-strapped industry.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747-400 (registered PH-BFK), sported special “Powered by biofuel” titles and had one of its four engines function by using a 50-percent mix of biokerosene and normal fuel. Flight 1919 out of Amsterdam had about 40 VIP passengers in order to test the environmentally-friendly energy, and it went off without a hitch.

The technology behind biokerosene is still in its early stages. One obstacle as compared with normal jet-fuel is that biokerosene does not have the energy content and also does not have as low of a freezing temperature.

Officials say that they hope to have the fuel certified for use towards the end of 2010 as they continue to test and make advancements in its capabilities. They say the only challenge they expect to face at that time would be the scarcity of biofuel. Another difficulty is that biokerosene’s ingredients are derived from food products, and the world’s rations will play a major role in how much food can be allotted for fuel production.

Photo by Joop Stroes

Photo by Joop Stroes

About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.



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