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Virgin Atlantic To Fly 744 With Biofuel LHR-AMS  
User currently offlineWF2BNN From Norway, joined Dec 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 10685 times:

VS is scheduled to conduct a test flight today (24th of Feb) using biofuel on one of the engines of a 747-400, flying LHR-AMS without pax.

In English: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/02/report-virgin-a.html

In Norwegian: http://e24.no/naeringsliv/article2274212.ece#VG

Only the Norwegian link states that the test will be conducted today...

How will this test go you think? Will the Biofuel freeze at FL 420 like they are saying it might?

Best of luck SRB


Mats


Feel the rythm, feel the rime - Grab your ticket, it's flyn' time
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKL911 From Ireland, joined Jul 2003, 5087 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10638 times:

That's right. It was scheduled to land at 13.30.

KL911



Next trip : DUB-AUH-CGK-DPS-KUL-AUH-CDG-ORK :-)
User currently offlinePaneuropean From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 878 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10628 times:

It has landed (safely)about twenty minutes ago around 1.20 pm GMT+1. It was live on CNN with Richard Branson

User currently offlineWF2BNN From Norway, joined Dec 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10611 times:

Oh - I missed it on CNN. Glad the plane landed safely. What did SRB have to say about the flight?

Mats



Feel the rythm, feel the rime - Grab your ticket, it's flyn' time
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26521 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10588 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7261214.stm

Glad it went well for them.



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3831 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10562 times:

Interesting to see what this may mean for the future of aviation!

User currently offlineWF2BNN From Norway, joined Dec 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10528 times:

Seams the flight went from Filton near Bristol to AMS - not from LHR as mentioned by the media prior to the flight. The flight lasted 3 hrs. Is Filton a MX centre?

Mats



Feel the rythm, feel the rime - Grab your ticket, it's flyn' time
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10502 times:



Quoting WF2BNN (Reply 3):
Glad the plane landed safely.

Like it was an emergency of some sort?

Quoting WF2BNN (Reply 6):
Seams the flight went from Filton near Bristol to AMS

Seems they got it wrong. The A388 biofuel trial was from Filton to Toulouse. This one is Heathrow Amsterdam.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2481 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10453 times:

Do we know exactly what kind of "bio fuel" this thing was powered on? What modifications did the a/c need to make it airworthy and what powerplant(s) are on VX's 744s?

Great development but if this is powered by grain-based bio fuels and this proves to be the "next big thing", it's only going to create a crunch on worldwide grain stores and prices. Still, great news and a step forward by (who else) Sir Branson.


777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineWF2BNN From Norway, joined Dec 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10419 times:

From http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/bu...ess/15virgin.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

"GE Aviation said the test plane would be configured with one of its CF6 engines, which would not require any modifications to burn biofuel."



Feel the rythm, feel the rime - Grab your ticket, it's flyn' time
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2481 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10323 times:



Quoting WF2BNN (Reply 9):
From http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/bu...login

Cool, thanks for the link. The Chicago Tribune's article didn't have as many details. Don't know why they won't identify the source of the fuel although I assume it's because they don't want to tip their hand.

That said, I'm not sure this will be the "golden egg" that everyone is searching for. If the goal is to cut down CO2 emissions, I'm confident it'll be a success since petroleum based fuels emit massive amounts of CO2. If the goal is reduce dependence upon crude oil, I'm not sure this is the right way to go. Case in point, the high demand for ethanol-based fuels here in the US has driven up demand for grains and in turn, increased the price of food staples.

No doubt, this is a step in the right direction, but I'd like to see an aircraft powered by "recycled" fuel:

http://www.greaseworks.org/biodiesel


777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineStrudders From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10284 times:

Mmmmmm it would seem we can provide food for fuel but on for the starving.....

Second point is this stuff freezes apparently at relatively low temperatures and the technology is still 10 years off from success. (sourse BBC)

I am sorry if I sound cynical, however I dont buy the use of Bio fuel as sustainable alternative, given the destruction of virgin forests it is causing around the world. (hundreds of links for those of you that want them) In the end we will loose much more than we gain.

Considering the amount of CO2 produced by aviation I would suggest leave it alone until better engine technology is around to utilise fossil fuel more efficiently and work on sorting out the real problems in the world the Car, the Ship and coal fired power station.

Best Regards

Struds


User currently offlineItsonlyme From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10207 times:

In response to a couple of the comments above. The fuel was some sort of mixture between coconut and babassu nuts, which do not interfere with food supply, although babassu plant is native to the amazon, both products are used in comsetics and stuff. Branson himself also said that this particular fuel is not th elong term answer - he believes that answer is something derived from algae, which i guess can be grown anywhere. He also said strongly the fuel obviously must not require significant modifications require a decades long wait for new aircraft, and that it must be sustainable and not affect the food supply.

User currently offlineStrudders From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10093 times:



Quoting Itsonlyme (Reply 12):
fuel was some sort of mixture between coconut and babassu nuts, which do not interfere with food supply

Whilst I dont disagree with what you say simple local economics drive this debate. A farmer given the choice of growing food verses Palm or Babassu nuts will grow the latter. Borneo is being stripped clean for the development of Palm Nuts for this very reason. Cash crops these are!

Introducing another competitor (Bio Fuel production) into an already very competitive market such as oil rich nuts and Grin will cause the price of the crop to rise and thus push farmers to turn more of their land over to these types of crop. And who would blame them. (Afghanistan poppy Fields are a very good example)

To keep on track of the thread, I think Virgin and SRB have the right ideal and applaud them for it but they are backing the wrong horse.

Best Regards

Struds


User currently offlineBoeing777/747 From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10072 times:

The plane has just landed at AMS. No problems during the flight.

User currently offline611atl From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10041 times:

I have a dumb question: is this biofuel safer? As in less flammable in the event of an accident? I suppose the engine would need to combust something, but I don't think of nuts as being too sparky!

User currently offlineAeroMojo From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9956 times:



Quoting Strudders (Reply 11):



Quoting Strudders (Reply 13):

I tip my hat to Branson and the VS team.
However, I agree completly with strudders



well...atleast I'm not trapped in some office building, in a cubicle, behind a computer, & under flouresent lights all d
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9837 times:



Quoting Itsonlyme (Reply 12):
In response to a couple of the comments above. The fuel was some sort of mixture between coconut and babassu nuts, which do not interfere with food supply, although babassu plant is native to the amazon, both products are used in comsetics and stuff.

If there are any more Diego Garcia "alumni" lurking, they can back me up that the island is inundated with coconut palms! Could this present an opportunity for the original inhabitants to return?

I'm keenly interested in alternative fuels and would like to know how much energy is required to produce a liter of biofuel and what the energy output is, relative to Jet A.

Perhaps if Baroque could take time out from his "Raptors for Down Under" campaigin, he'll weigh in?  Wink



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9726 times:



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 17):
Perhaps if Baroque could take time out from his "Raptors for Down Under" campaign, he'll weigh in?

Well the best I can do is to find a Syd Morning Herald article from last year that makes me a bit uneasy about real energy costs of the system without having any really good data as to what they are.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/environme...plan/2007/10/10/1191695991726.html
"Now a planned $30 million biodiesel plant in Port Botany is under attack by the Greens because it will use palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. Its future is up in the air as the developer, Natural Fuels Australia, decides whether it should go ahead. The chairman of the company, Barry Murphy, said yesterday that the Federal Government clean fuels grant did not in reality encourage the use of pure biodiesel from crops and therefore "makes the economics difficult". He also acknowledged the price of feedstock and the global issues around climate change and deforestation made the decision a tough one."

You can see the controversy.

From the other side of the palm oil schemes, the plantations in Kalimantan are pretty amazing. I gather the production is formidable but it is pretty difficult to work out either of the two basic important parameters:

1. the real cost of production; and
2. the extent to which the whole process is subsidized by removal of rainforest timber.

Then after you find out what they are, you would need to find the energy input.

I should look out some photographs to show what happens to the forest cover and the peat soils in valleys such as that of the Barito River - these are some of the peat soils that are prone to catch fire during clearance for planting the palm trees.

You have to think of it in terms of an integrated forestry (in part illegal of course) and palm oil operation.

The amount of energy that goes into the plantation may be relatively low - but I cannot find any stats. However, the original forest soils are very poor and they become impoverished by the clearance.

You get a good feel for this from the gardens of transmigrants - they usually look impoverished and barren due to the transmigrants being unable to afford fertilisers.

Use of all the biomass from harvesting would make the system closer to sustainable, but using the biomass from dispersed sources present major problems.

Wiki has a nice article on the subject but manages to avoid telling you what the energy input is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

The other thing to calculate is how much you could produce if you converted all the tropical forest areas to palm oil, after that you will have to worry about how to feed those who live in those areas. A decline in flow oil production will lead to endless problems of so many varieties.

Back to trying to find flow oil and wait for the Raptors to fly in. Should not be long now - for both!


User currently offlineAzhobo From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9685 times:

Biofuel is political correctness gone mad when it comes to "saving the environment".

Becoming independent of middle east oil is the only decent reason for proposing biofuel. But before we do that lets look at tapping the oil reserves we now have in the arctic (ANWAR) and else where.

Aircraft industry is taking a token look at this for advertising purposes only.

HOBO


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9685 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 18):
The other thing to calculate is how much you could produce if you converted all the tropical forest areas to palm oil, after that you will have to worry about how to feed those who live in those areas. A decline in flow oil production will lead to endless problems of so many varieties.

Which is why I find the prospect of using coconuts so alluring, There are many islands in the Indian Ocean that are perfect for coconut plantations. There's the aforementioned Chagos Archepeligo and your own Cocos Island for a start. And, it would be a solution for the displaced Chagosians. Win-win.

But there are transport costs to take into account as well, unless the processing was done on-site. But it is cause for hope that folks are looking at things like coconuts and switch grass (yes, those enzymes....)!

Who knows? Perhaps we can get the Raptors running on the stuff?  Big grin



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineSteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9116 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9667 times:

I love the comments that biofuels will not reduce carbon emissions. I understand the energy going into creating these fuels, but what about the energy used to extract oil, and then to refine crude oil into more of a useable type (i.e. gasoline, kerosene, etc), and of course, what happens when we burn that oil?

Even with all that energy going into biofuel, I still think it's less than what goes into making, and then burning gasoline and jet fuels. Sometimes, these environmentalists don't make any sense. I like the environment as much as the next person, and I am all for sustainability, but I think this could be the start of something that could work out in the future -- this and the hydrogen cell...



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlineStrudders From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9629 times:



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
Which is why I find the prospect of using coconuts so alluring, There are many islands in the Indian Ocean that are perfect for coconut plantations

The problem is Lumberton, Coconuts are not what is being grown fro Bio Fuel due to the relative poor yields provided by the Coconut.

Palm oil on the other hand has a high yield and is easy to manage. That is unfortunately what is being grown.

In order to do so this countries are resorting to whole sale deforestation, legal as well as illegal to achieve this.

Coconut oil as fuel is a good diesel alternative as long as it does not fall below 25C.

I think that the use of coconuts and other sustainable alternatives to local populations are the way forward, however large scale production of nut based fuels are only going to cause more issues than they solve.

Best Regards

Struds


User currently offlineSimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 904 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9427 times:

Does anyone know which specific 747-400 it was?

User currently offlineWF2BNN From Norway, joined Dec 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9264 times:



Quoting Simairlinenet (Reply 23):
Does anyone know which specific 747-400 it was?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/02/24/flight.biofuels/index.html has a photo of G-VFAB so it might be that one - or they used a archive photo of a VS plane...

Mats



Feel the rythm, feel the rime - Grab your ticket, it's flyn' time
25 Post contains links Atrude777 : G-VWOW "Cosmic Girl" Source-- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080224/clsu002.html?.v=40 The Virgin Atlantic 747-400 -- registration GV-WOW, operating as
26 Post contains images Lightsaber : I'm a fan of the concept of biofuel. But as others have already noted, its a decade away from becoming a reality. The best solution is to bio-engineer
27 Azhobo : Burning biofuels does not slow or stop global warming either. Global warming effects caused by man are junk science IMO (and discussions not pertinen
28 Lumberton : Couldn't heat from the engines be diverted for this purpose?[Edited 2008-02-24 12:15:57]
29 Skytroll : Hi all this was the pre test details they pasted on the staff website. I will paste the details of the flight as soon as they are available. In an ind
30 Post contains images DL763 : I think VS has it under control and will pull it off!! Is it one of the 744's in the new colors? DL763
31 Socalfive : More Filters... These things COULD run on used Hydrogenated cooking oils just like Diesel. This means, draining the grease pits at any restaurant and
32 Ncelhr : Indexing the price of food to the price of oil by making the two produces compete against each other (you plant either for food or for energy), is a b
33 Azhobo : Might be an idea if the US was using 20 million barrels of cooking oil a day.
34 Azhobo : We are that insane here in the US. Production of corn for bio fuel is already impacting prices on beef as the feed corn is used in production of beef
35 OTOPS : I never understood the anger that environmental issues creates in some people. Why is it "gone mad". Why do you love oil so much? Just accept it. Its
36 Gr8Circle : Read the above report on CNN....does this mean that only one fuel tank and thus, only one engine, was burning the biofuel..? Were the other 3 engines
37 Climb1 : Wow! I was scanning on my Airnav Radarbox this morning and noticed VWOW lifting off from LHR and heading to the east over Essex as VS811. At the time
38 Post contains images Lightsaber : A good idea... Until you realize that creates an extreme fire hazard in the fuel tanks. Its best if the fuel can just take the cold. Also, fuel tank
40 PanAm747 : On CBS evening news this evening, they ran a side story about the VX flight and did a sidebar on the logistics of biofuels. It was pointed out that wh
41 Post contains links Aviateur : True, but flying is still more fuel-efficient, on a per-passenger basis, than driving. You might like this article I published only a couple of days
42 KAA330 : i saw it on BBC! it was cool but i didnt hear the biofuel bit Great thread aswell
43 Trent1000 : Burning biofuels also releases CO2, but the idea is that this is then reabsorbed by plants that are harvested to make more fuel. Does anyone know the
44 Cloudyapple : 20/80 mix.
45 HeeBeeGB : Shock as Branson and the Virgin group court media attention
46 N1120A : Remember that the crops currently used to make ethanol in the US, specifically corn/maize, are incredibly inefficient compared to sugar cane or celul
47 TheSonntag : Yet, using only parts of the plants cannot be the final solution. I think the future lies in BTL, biomass to liquid fuel. With this process, you can v
48 Strudders : No its 22-25C. Below that then it begins to solidify. In temperate climates a heating tank is required to keep the temp up before use as fuel. Best R
49 Post contains links Baroque : Well I can help you there although you might not like the source and as usual with these calculations, in the end on of the calculations is not the c
50 Post contains images Strudders : Thats very True. However the best solution would be not to grow them at all and leave the forests as they are! However I fear that this is a lost cau
51 CoolGuy : Hey I've taken G-VWOW! So I don't understand why this was done on a passenger plane (without passengers of course) run by an airline as opposed to res
52 TristarSteve : Its amazing how much tripe SRB can get into the press. Its not the first airliner to fly on biofuel, the A380 did that last month. It wasn't a commer
53 Post contains links Lumberton : Good article here on synthetic fuels and the USAF's plans for introducing more of it into it's operations. http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...6/co
54 Teme82 : I might add that I've heard that it was just in one engine and that engine wasn't running at reduced settings...
55 Skytroll : At the end of the day TristarSteve its not that its the silver bullet in new fuel or anything but purely shows that it can be done when no one else wa
56 Post contains images Baroque : It does seem to be a lost cause. Every time I go to Kalimantan, it is worse. And our last Government was going to hand over a couple of hundred milli
57 WF2BNN : I know DY (Norwegian) wants to use Biofuel on their new 737-800's ASAP. How soon will/can this be a reality? Will the finished fuel mixture be close t
58 YULWinterSkies : A pretty big gamble. It may not impact aviation directly but these are consequences for the future of society. If society is not doing well, aviation
59 Post contains links TristarSteve : Go and read this weeks Flight International. Four pages of good info on replacement fuels. The gist of it is here www.flightglobal.com/environment Ba
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