March 22, 2012, Toronto - In mid-April, Porter Airlines plans to use one of its Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliners to conduct the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada.
On February 9, 2012, in preparation for Porter's upcoming flight, a Bombardier Q400 turboprop test aircraft became the first aircraft in Canada to fly on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D7566 bio-derived jet fuel, which was recently certified.
"We are timing our biofuel-powered flight close to Earth Day to emphasize the contribution that biofuels are expected to make in helping the aviation industry meet its targeted reduction in emissions," said Robert Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer, Porter Airlines. "Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft are already among the 'greenest' aircraft in the world and the use of biofuel will make the aircraft even more environmentally conscious."
Porter's biofuel-powered revenue flight will utilize a 50/50 blend of biofuel with Jet A1 fuel. The biofuel portion is derived from the oilseed crop, Camelina sativa(i) (49 per cent) and Brassica carinata(i) (one per cent).
"The two-hour preparatory flight was flawless and the bio-derived fuel performed as expected," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "During the flight, the Q400 aircraft successfully undertook several maneuvers including engine-out climbs, rapid engine accelerations and cruising to verify the performance of the aircraft while using the bio-derived fuel."
Other key partners in the biofuel program, which was first announced in 2010, include Saskatchewan-based Targeted Growth Canada (TGC), the producer of the crop of Camelina sativa and Pratt & Whitney Canada, the manufacturer of the PW150A engines that power the Q400 aircraft. Funding for the program is being provided by the partners as well as by the Green Aviation Research & Development Network (GARDN).
Further details regarding Porter's biofuel-powered revenue flight will be released in the coming weeks.