Boeing and Virgin Atlantic recently announced an environmental partnership to develop sustainable fuel sources suitable for commercial jet engines and the aviation industry. The partnership, which will also include GE Aviation and Virgin Fuels, intends to demonstrate the use of biofuel using a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 sometime in 2008.
“Virgin Atlantic is pleased to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as our aircraft of the future,” said Steve Ridgway Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Officer. “This revolutionary aircraft will bring a step change to the industry, substantially reducing environmental impact and incorporating innovative design and advanced technology, while providing an enhanced flying experience for our passengers.”
Boeing and Virgin Atlantic are also working together to reduce fuel burn and aircraft emissions on the ground by researching alternatives to conventional aircraft operations at airports. The partnership has developed, and is now testing, what they call “starting grids,” an area where planes will be towed to before starting their engines thus saving preflight fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 50 percent.
“Virgin Atlantic has demonstrated extraordinary leadership within our industry on addressing environmental impact, and Boeing is proud that the 787 Dreamliner is such an important ingredient of the airline’s plan for the future,” said Scott Carson, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Working together in partnership, Boeing and Virgin Atlantic will develop innovative, environmentally progressive solutions to provide greater fuel efficiency and lower aircraft emissions.”
The new 787 Dreamliner will provide passengers with a more enjoyable flying experience. The aircraft will use 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes. Travelers will notice cleaner air, bigger windows, increased storage space, and improved lighting inside the aircraft. It is also reported that the aircraft will have quieter takeoffs and landings.