India’s first biofuel-powered plane that aims at cutting down air travel costs was flight-tested Monday.
The 72-seater Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft, powered by a mix of biofuel and air turbine fuel, took off from Jolly Grant Airport in the northern state of Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun for the Indian capital after being flagged off by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, officials said.
India will join an elite group of nations like the United States and Australia if the test-flight turns out to be a complete success.
“The biofuel for this testflight was developed by Dehradun-based state-owned Indian Institute of Petroleum and agricultural residues, non-edible oils, and industrial and municipal wastes were used for the preparation,” an official said.
“There were no passengers on the flight. Only airline and aviation officials were on the flight being operated by low-cost airline Spicejet. Aircraft engineers are also on board to help out the pilots in case of any emergency,” he added.
The first-ever biofuel flight was operated by Virgin Atlantic Airlines between London and Amsterdam some 10 years ago.