ecoDemonstrator 787

Boeing has carried out the first-of-its kind flight of ecoDemonstrator 787 using green diesel, a sustainable biofuel.

The aircraft was powered with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine.

Boeing Test & Evaluation new airplane product development chief pilot Mike Carriker said: "The aeroplane performed as designed with the green diesel blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel.

"This is exactly what we want to see in flight tests with a new type of fuel."

The flight was supported by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, while the EPIC Aviation blended the fuel.

Finland-based Neste Oil supplied green diesel for the ecoDemonstrator 787.

Green diesel is made using vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and animal fats, and is said to have similar chemical properties similar to hydro-processed esters and fatty acids aviation biofuel.

"Green diesel is made using vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and animal fats."

The US, Europe and Asia together produce 800 million gallons of green diesel each year, and can meet around 1% global jet fuel demand, Boeing said.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes environmental strategy and integration managing director Julie Felgar said: "Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers.

"We will provide data from several ecoDemonstrator flights to support efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet our industry’s environmental goals."

The green diesel is one of the more than 25 technologies currently Boeing is testing with 787 Dreamliner ZA004, as part of its ecoDemonstrator programme.

The programme is designed to test and use new technologies and methods, to improve aviation’s environmental performance.

Image: The ecoDemonstrator 787 flight was powered with a blend of green diesel and petroleum jet fuel. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.

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