Flying Into The Future

Sure, we’ve all heard about the hippies who filter recycled restaurant oil to run their 60s-era vans. But what if that concept could be applied on a gargantuan scale to help curb greenhouse gas emissions?

It turns out it’s not such a far-fetched idea after all: German airline Lufthansa has announced it will begin fueling some of its aircraft with a 50/50 biofuel-kerosene mix for some of its domestic flights. The airline will begin the six-month trial using its Airbus A321 beginning in April of next year.

According to a company statement from Lufthansa, “The primary purpose of the project is to conduct a long-term trial to study the effect of biofuel on engine maintenance and engine life.”

Wait, let me get this straight: They are testing the biofuel on commercial flights — real flights, real people. Nicht mit mir! Either Lufthansa needs a better English translator, or it needs the German equivalent of Mythbusters. I’m definitely no scientist. But is there any way it could simulate the biofuel flights without using human beings as its experimental lab mice?

To Lufthansa’s credit, the company is pushing the frontier of innovation in an era defined by fear and uncertainty. Not to be forgotten, almost every major technological breakthrough has involved taking some degree of risk. But let me ask you this: Would you want to be on one of those experimental “trial” flights?

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One thought on “Flying Into The Future

  1. I don’t think it would be so bad. I mean, they obviously wouldn’t be trying it if they didn’t have scientists telling them the properties of the fuel and all. I think the “test” comes with seeing whether the biofuel is as efficient in terms of cost, and also whether it wears on the engines more than the regular fuel. I don’t think there’s any question as to its safety. But I can definitely see where you’re coming from. It’s great that they’re trying something new in such a crazy entrenched industry!

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