Boeing will fly the new 747-8 Freighter to its international air show debut in a doubly historic fashion, flying the airplane across the Atlantic Ocean to the Paris Air Show using a renewable aviation jet fuel – the world’s first transatlantic crossing of a commercial jetliner using biologically derived fuel.
Boeing pilots Capt. Keith Otsuka and Capt. Rick Braun and Cargolux Capt. Sten Rossby will fly the airplane with each of the 747-8 Freighter’s four GE GEnx-2B engines powered by a blend of 15 percent camelina-based biofuel mixed with 85 percent traditional kerosene fuel (Jet-A). The airplane is scheduled to arrive at Le Bourget Airport Monday at about 5 p.m. France time (1500 GMT) after a 4,989-mile (8,029 km, 4,335 nautical mile) trip.
“This historic flight is a boost to aviation’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency in all phases of our industry,” said 747-8 Vice President and General Manager Elizabeth Lund. “And the 747-8 Freighter fits in well with these efforts by bringing huge improvements in fuel efficiency, lower carbon emissions and less noise.”
Camelina, the plant source used to create the biofuel, was grown in Montana and processed by Honeywell’s UOP. Boeing does not need to make any changes to the airplane, its engines or operating procedures prior to departure to accommodate biofuel use. Normal flight parameters are being followed and were approved in advance by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The airplane will be on static display at the Paris Air Show June 21 and 22. It is scheduled to leave the air show the evening of June 22 and fly to Cargolux headquarters at Luxembourg for a two-day visit. Cargolux is scheduled to take delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter to enter service this summer.
The 747-8 Freighter is the new high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance.