Jumbo Jet Flies on Veggie Oil

Boeing 747 powered by biofuel
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 6:35 AM CST
The engine of a Boeing 747 powered by a 50/50 mix of aviation fuel and vegetable oil.   (AP Photo/NZ Herald, Paul Estcourt)
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(Newser) – A Boeing 747 powered by a mixture of aviation fuel and vegetable oil flew on a two-hour test flight which is being hailed as a technological and ecological milestone. The Air New Zealand passenger jet was powered in part by oil from the jatropha plant, reports the BBC.

The International Air Transport Association has set a goal for a tenth of aviation fuel to come from biofuels by 2017. Biofuels are renewable and create fewer emissions, but they are controversial because their widespread use would involve turning fertile land over to the cultivation of energy crops at the expense of growing food.