Airbus, KLM complete 10-hour biofuel flight
In May, the longest biofuel flight to date completed by an Airbus aircraft took place. An Airbus A330-200 operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines completed a 10-hour flight from the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba on a blend of 20 percent biofuel.
The flight was the first in a series of 20 long-haul commercial flights in the context of the European initiative called ITAKA, or the Initiative Towards sustAinable Kerosene for Aviation, which aims to speed up the commercialization of aviation biofuels in Europe. ITAKA is funded by the European Union and is designed as a collaborative project that aims to produce sustainable aviation fuel and test its use in existing systems and normal flight operations. The project also aims to link supply and demand by establishing relationships among feedstock growers and producers, biofuel producer, distributors and airlines.
Airbus’s major role in the testing is to collect data before, during and after the flight on the engine fuel system, engine performance, and other factors. Airbus also provides insights into the use of nonpetroleum-based fuels compared to traditional fuels.