DN - Defence Notes

Air New Zealand Biofuel Test Flight All Set

27th November 2008 - 22:25 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The world's first commercial aviation test flight powered by a sustainable second-generation biofuel is ready to go next Wed. Dec. 3, 2008.

The jatropha fuel has now been blended 50:50 with standard Jet A1 fuel by Air New Zealand at its Auckland Engineering Base. The biofuel blend, named J50, has now been transferred into an RNZAF fuel tanker ready to fuel the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 early next week.

The two-hour test flight is scheduled to take off from Auckland airport on Wednesday morning December 3, with the jatropha biofuel blend powering one of the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400's Rolls-Royce RB211 engines.

The pilot in command of the test flight is Air New Zealand 747 Fleet Manager Captain Keith Pattie, other crew onboard the flight will include Boeing test pilot Captain Thomas Imrich and Air New Zealand's Chief Pilot and General Manager Airline Operations Captain David Morgan.

Captain Pattie and the crew will operate the flight predominantly out over the wider Hauraki Gulf area. During this time they will undertake a number of fuel tests confirming and measuring the performance of the engine and fuel systems at various altitudes and under a variety of operating conditions.

The test flight is a joint initiative between Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and UOP, with support from Terasol Energy, as part of commercial aviation's drive for more sustainable air travel for future generations.

Air New Zealand offers more direct flights to the South Pacific than any other airline, including non-stop flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Vancouver to New Zealand, as well as Los Angeles non-stop to the Cook Islands and Samoa. Other popular destinations include Australia, China, Japan and Tonga. In addition to flying non-stop Los Angeles-London, Air New Zealand's newest route, between London and Hong Kong, now allows customers to fly round-the-world on one airline. Consistently rated among the world's best international airlines, Air New Zealand's most recent accolades include recognition by the Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards, the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards and Business Traveler Magazine. United Mileage Plus, US Airways Dividend Miles and Air Canada's Aeroplan members earn and redeem mileage on select flights. Flight and vacation essentials can be booked on AirNewZealand.com.

 

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