Virgin Atlantic made the first flight by a commercial airline using biofuel today. The 747-400 flew from London Heathrow to Amsterdam, with one engine using fuel made from a mixture of coconuts and babassu nuts from Brazil. Virgin Atlantic made the flight in partnership with Boeing, General Electric, and Imperium Renewables.
Sir Richard Branson called the flight a "vital breakthrough" for the airline industry, but acknowledged that biofuel flights in the future would likely depend on algae-based sources. Branson founded the Virgin Green Fund several years ago, which invests in companies that research renewable energy sources. Green opponents branded Branson as a hypocrite though, citing the contributing role of airlines in global emissions. On the scene, Branson drank a vial of the biofuel, calling it "more appropriate for the engine."
For those that are curious, the aircraft was "Cosmic Girl," G-VWOW. The flight number was VS811P. Also worth noting is that Airbus Airbus began testing biofuel on one of its A380s just weeks ago.
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