The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) says it achieved a major milestone for the aviation industry Oct. 29 as it flew the first civil jet powered by 100 per cent unblended biofuel.
“This historic flight symbolizes a significant step not only for the aerospace industry, but also towards advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy,” the NRC said in a release.
“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 per cent biofuel flight,” said Tim Leslie, one of NRC’s pilots. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together. It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!”
“I congratulate the aerospace team at the National Research Council of Canada for achieving today’s milestone in aviation history,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology). “This is a perfect example of how government and industry work together to bridge the gap between Canadian innovation and commercialization.”
The biofuel flowed into the engine of the Falcon 20 — one of NRC’s specifically equipped and best-suited jet for this challenge — as it flew over the sky of Canada’s capital. A second aircraft, the T-33, tailed the Falcon in flight and collected valuable information on the emissions generated by the biofuel. Research experts at the National Research Council will analyze the data to better understand the environmental impact of biofuel. Preliminary results are expected to be released in the following weeks.
The biofuel used for this flight was transformed by Applied Research Associates and Chevron Lummus Global using oilseed crops commercialized by Agrisoma Bioscience Inc. The oilseed is Brassica carinata, a new oilseed in the mustard family grown under a closed-loop contract in Saskatchewan last summer.
This aviation initiative is funded by the Government of Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiatives and the Green Aviation Research and Development Network.