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I wouldn't....I'm sure they've done plenty of testing but unexpected stuff always happens.

original: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_bi_ge/as_new_zealand_airplane_biofuel;_ylt=ApOiynWbMQy_bWR3oYAZrYIDW7oF

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A passenger jet powered in part by vegetable oil successfully completed a two-hour flight Tuesday to test a biofuel that could lower airplane emissions and cut costs, Air New Zealand said. One engine of a Boeing 747-400 airplane was powered by a 50-50 blend of oil from jatropha plants and standard A1 jet fuel.
This year has seen an unprecedented push for alternative fuels by airlines, which were slammed by skyrocketing oil prices earlier in 2008 and are now bracing for a falloff in air travel in the face of a global economic slowdown.While Air New Zealand couldn't say whether the blend would be cheaper than standard jet fuel since jatropha is not yet produced on a commercial scale, the company expects the blend to be "cost competitive," according to company spokeswoman Tracy Mills.

Biofuels were once regarded as impractical for aviation because most freeze at the low temperatures encountered at cruising altitudes. But tests show jatropha, whose seeds yield an oil already used to produce fuels like biodiesel, has an even lower freezing point than jet fuel.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Rob Fyfe called the flight "a milestone for the airline and commercial aviation.""Today we stand at the earliest stages of sustainable fuel development and an important moment in aviation history," he said shortly after the flight. The company's goal is to become the world's most environmentally sustainable airline. The flight was the first to use jatropha as part of a biofuel mix.

In February, Boeing and Virgin Atlantic carried out a similar test flight that included a biofuel mixture of palm and coconut oil — but was dismissed as a publicity stunt by environmentalists who said the fuel could not be produced in the quantities needed for commercial aviation use.

Biofuels emit as much carbon as kerosene-based jet fuel, but jatropha — a Mexican plant that grows in warm climates — absorbs about half the carbon that jatropha-based fuels release. Air New Zealand's proposed blend, for example, would mean a one-quarter reduction in the carbon footprint of standard jet fuel.Many biofuels — like ethanol which is produced from corn — have been blamed for raising the price of food by diverting it from kitchen tables to engines. While the link between biofuels and grain prices is debatable, Mills said that jatophra plants would not compete with food or other commercial crops since it can grow on land that would make poor farmland and needs little water."Ethanol is a first generation biofuel; jatophra a second generation biofuel that doesn't compete for land with food production," Mills said.The test flight out of Auckland International Airport included a full-power takeoff and cruising to 35,000 feet (10,600 meters), where the crew manually set all four engine controls to check for identical performance readings among the biofuel-powered engine and those using jet fuel. Pilots also switched off the fuel pump for the biofuel engine at 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) "to test the lubricity of the fuel," ensuring its friction in the pipe did not slow its flow to the engine.

Capt. David Morgan, the airline's chief pilot who was on board the airplane, said results from the flight tests will provide the company and its partners with invaluable data to help jatropha become a certified aviation fuel.The checks were "designed to test the biofuel to the fullest extent," Morgan said. While the airline heralded the flight as successful, Air New Zealand Group Manager Ed Sims cautioned that it will be at least 2013 before the company can ensure easy access to the large quantities of jatropha it would need to use the biofuel on all of its flights.

"Clearly we are a long, long way from being able to source commercially quantifiable amounts of the fuel and then be able to move that amount of fuel around the world to be able to power the world's airlines is still some years off," Sims told New Zealand's National Radio.The company bought the seeds from plantations in East Africa and India that total 309,000 acres (125,000 hectares). The company hopes that by 2013, 10 percent of its flights will be powered, at least in part, by biofuels, Mills said. Most of those using the blend would be short haul domestic services.
 

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Here's another one, first one in the US, summary below

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_bi_ge/continental_biofuel

Continental flight powered with biofuel takes off

HOUSTON – Continental Airlines on Wednesday became the first U.S. commercial carrier to conduct a demonstration flight powered in part by alternative fuels, though large-scale use of such fuel is forecast to be several years away.

The Houston-based company, the nation's fourth-largest airline, made the flight with a Boeing 737-800 that left from Bush Intercontinental Airport, its large hub. The flight took about 1 hour, 45 minutes and had no passengers.

Continental chairman and chief executive Larry Kellner said the goal was to analyze technical aspects of using biofuels, including effects on the plane's mechanical systems. In this case, the alternative fuel was derived from algae and jatropha plants and used in only one of the plane's two engines.

Kellner and others acknowledged it will likely be several years, a decade perhaps, before biofuels make up a significant percentage of the fuel used by Continental and other major carriers. At present, adequate supplies — and the facilities to make them — simply aren't available.

Continental said its flight was the first to use algae as a fuel source, and the first test involving a two-engine aircraft. One engine ran on a mixture of one-half biofuel and one-half traditional jet fuel. The other ran solely on jet fuel.

The biofuel exceeded specifications for regular jet fuel, and no modifications to the plane or its engines were needed.

Jatropha and algae are both considered sustainable, second-generation biofuels, which typically use a wider range of plants and release fewer emissions than traditional biofuels like ethanol. Other possible sources include switch grass and salt-tolerant plants called halophytes.

Wednesday's flight was a joint effort involving Continental, airplane maker Boeing Co., engine makers GE Aviation/CFM International and biofuel specialist UOP, a unit of Honeywell International Inc.
 
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Sullenberger adn his crew were on Letterman last night. when there's a crowd of people being interviewed at the same time there's always an awkward relationship between the person who sits in the main seat and the other people.
 
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