Rolls-Royce and British Airways are starting a test program to research alternative fuels for the aviation industry. The study will seek to identify practical alternatives to the current industry-standard fuel kerosene.
The companies will invite suppliers to offer alternative fuel samples for testing on a Rolls-Royce RB211 engine from a British Airways Boeing 747. The tests will be carried out on an indoor engine test bed at the Rolls-Royce facility in Derby, UK.
Following the tender process, there will be a selection of up to four alternative fuels, which will undergo laboratory testing before being delivered to Rolls-Royce in the new year. Each company will be asked to supply up to 60,000 liters.
In separate research being performed later this year, Air New Zealand will conduct a demonstration flight of a second-generation biofuel in partnership with Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
Continental Airlines, Boeing and GE Aviation have announced plans to conduct a biofuels demonstration flight in the first half of 2009 in an effort to identify sustainable fuel solutions for the aviation industry.