Japan Airlines says it will be the first Asian carrier to conduct a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel refined from the energy crop, camelina. The one-hour demonstration flight is planned for Jan. 30, 2009, out of Haneda Airport Tokyo.
The airline will test a blend of 50 percent biofuel and 50 percent traditional Jet-A jet fuel in one of the four Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines of its Boeing 747-300 aircraft.
Japan Airlines says the biofuel component will be made up of three second-generation biofuel feedstocks, specifically 84 percent camelina, under 16 percent jatropha and under 1 percent algae.
Once the flight has been completed, the airline says data recorded on the aircraft will be analyzed by Pratt & Whitney and Boeing engineers. Several of the engine readings will also be used to determine if equivalent engine performance was seen from the biofuel blend compared to typical Jet A-1 fuel.
In July, Rolls-Royce and British Airways announced they are starting a test program to research alternative fuels for the aviation industry.
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.