On the verge of several old inventions Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 was tested to fly on Biofuel. It was the first commercial jet ever to fly on Biofuel, a fuel produced from plant matter instead of petroleum or other fossil fuels.
This plane was tested with two people on board on three of London Heathrow’s one main runways. There were around 100 people watching to evidence this event standing on a nearby hangar. Virgin founder, Richard Branson told reporters before its take off that, “This is the first stage on a journey towards renewable fuel,” His voice was not clear because of deafening noise of overhead planes.
For experiment purpose, Virgin’s eco-plane ran only three engine with that fuel & the other three engines were filled with standard jet fuel. In addition the Biofuel-powered engine was using a blend of conventional jet fuel & Biofuel: 80/20 in favor of the regular stuff. In sum 5% of the 49,000-lb (22,000 kg) fuel load consisted of the novelty: a special mix of coconut oil & oil from the Brazilian babassu plant, prepared by Seattle-based Imperium Renewable over the last 18 months & tested by General Electric Aviation in Ohio.
Commenting against the people who were stating this incidence as mere publicity stunt, people said that it was a businesses claim, meant merely as a demonstration. Branson told reporters, “What we are proving today is that Biofuel can be used for a plane,” they further added, “Two years ago, people said it was absolutely impossible.”
It was also feared that Biofuel would freeze before a plane reached cruising altitude, or that it would require massive & costly changes to the aircraft or fueling systems to work at all. Those all believes were proved wrong with this successful experiment. The fuel used by Virgin did not require any equipment modifications & it flew to 25,000 feet (7,600 m) without incident; & the environmental benefits seem clear, at least three time the fuel is loaded onto the plane.