A Virgin Atlantic airplane fueled by a coconut and babassu nut biofuel mixture flew from London to Amsterdam at the weekend. It was the first commercial airline to fly on a biofuel mixture, something that Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson said would forever change the way the airline industry operates.
Before you run around, telling your friends that the fuel problem has been solved, know that there’s some caveats. First, though the flight was powered by biofuel, you need a hell of a lot of land to cultivate the needed plants. Do you know of anywhere where you can just cast away existing plants in order to grow the ones used by the fuel? Apparently saltwater-gorwn algae is the holy grail of biofuel, since you wouldn’t need to displace other crops in order to grow it.
Virgin exhibits coconut-powered flying jumbo [The Register]