Porter Airlines completes Canada's first biofuel-powered revenue flight
Tuesday April 17th 2012 - Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has completed the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada, bringing a successful conclusion to a two-year test program. The airline flew one of its Bombardier Q400 turboprops from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Ottawa using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and Jet A1 fuel in one of its engines.
The biofuel was derived from the oilseed crops Camelina sativa (49 per cent) and Brassica carinata (one per cent), members of the same family of flowering plants as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, and was certified to the new American Society for Testing and Materials 7566/D1655 standard. The aircraftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s other engine was powered by Jet A1 fuel.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In a fitting tribute to Earth Day 2012, which is now less than a week away, we are delighted that one of our Bombardier Q400 turboprops has become the first aircraft to successfully conduct a biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Robert Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer, Porter Airlines. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The use of biofuels promises to significantly reduce the level of emissions produced by commercial aircraft worldwide, and Porter is honoured to have contributed to this test program in Canada.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The flight included passengers making their way to Ottawa for business and pleasure, representatives from the biofuel test programÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s partnering organizations and media.
Funding for the test program was provided by the biofuel projectÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s key partners (Targeted Growth, Bombardier Aerospace, Pratt and Whitney Canada, and Porter Airlines), as well as by Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) through the Green Aviation Research & Development Network (GARDN).
Additional support to the program was provided by Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., which grew the carinata and produced the carinata bio-oil; Sustainable Oils, which crushed the camelina to make the camelina bio-oil; Honeywell UOP, which converted the bio-oils into the bio-derived jet fuel to meet the D7566 standard; and SkyNRG who were responsible for logistics and blending to meet the D1655 specification.
Daniel Breitman, vice president of engine development programs for Pratt & Whitney Canada, said that the company was committed to ensuring its products are designed, produced and operated while minimizing environmental impacts throughout their life cycle. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have implemented new technologies to significantly reduce fuel consumption, environmental emissions and engine noise in our latest generation of engines and we are developing cutting-edge green technologies for the future, to help the aerospace industry reach its commitment of reducing its overall footprint."
The executive director of GARDN, Sylvain Cofsky, said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“When this biofuel project was submitted in October 2010, the Private Sector Advisory Board, a strategic body comprised of respected Canadian industry leaders, approved it with complete confidence and praised it. [It had] very high value added, world-class experts and very good focus,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sylvain Cofsky, Executive Director of GARDN. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Eighteen months later, todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flight proves they were right and I am extremely proud of GARDNÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s contribution to this very promising success in the field of aviation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
On February 9, 2012, in preparation for PorterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s revenue flight, Bombardier flew a Q400 turboprop test aircraft on the ASTM D7566/D1655 bio-derived jet fuel. This was the first such biofuel-powered test flight in Canada.
The first dawn-to-dusk trans-Canada flight was completed by J.H. Tudhop and J.D. Hunter in July 1937. The journey, between Montreal and Vancouver, took the pair 17 hours and 35 minutes. www.canadiangeographic.ca