Airbus and Brazil-based TAM Airlines together have conducted the first test flight with Jatropha-based biofuel.
The biofuel, processed by a Honeywell subsidiary, was a 50-50 mix of Brazilian Jatropha- bio-kerosene and conventional aviation kerosene.
Jatropha is grown in two regions of Brazil and produces seeds that contain up to 40% oil.
The test flight took off from Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International airport in Rio de Janeiro and flew for 45 minutes before landing back at its point of origin.
The test used an A320 containing 20 passengers.
"Airbus and TAM have taken an important step towards establishing an aviation biofuel solution that is both commercially viable and sustainable, with positive impact on the environment," said Airbus’ President and CEO, Tom Enders.
“This flight serves as evidence of the aviation industry's commitment to advance on its self-imposed CO2 reduction targets: carbon neutral growth from 2020, and working towards a 50% net CO2 reduction by 2050.”
“This experimental flight materializes TAM’s participation in a vast project to develop a production chain for renewable biofuel, with the purpose of creating a Brazilian platform for sustainable aviation bio-kerosene,” said Libano Barroso, president of TAM Airlines.
The technical flight was approved by Airbus, the engine provider CFM International, and was authorized by aviation authorities in Europe (the European Aviation Safety Agency) and Brazil (National Civil Aviation Agency).