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Last Updated: Wednesday December 31 2008 13:04 GMT

Jet powered by vegetable oil

Jet powered by vegetable oil
Jet powered by vegetable oil

A passenger plane powered partly by vegetable oil has completed a two hour test flight.

The Air New Zealand plane used a mixture of normal jet fuel and plant oil in one of its engines.

Pilot David Morgan said the oil, which comes from the plum-sized jatropha fruit, performed well.

It's hoped the flight will pave the way for the use of more natural fuels to cut costs and make flying more eco-friendly.

Tests on the ground

The tests took place in Auckland on Tuesday both on the ground and in the air.

Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe said the successful flight was "a milestone for the airline and commercial aviation."

It was the first time this type of bio fuel has been used to power a plane. The International Air Transport Association says it wants a 10th of plane fuel to come from bio fuels by 2017.

In February a Virgin Atlantic plane used fuel from a mixture of nuts and coconuts.

Climate change special section




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