Biofuel-powered Cessna 182 Flies from Rhode Island to Kitty Hawk

Biofuel uses recycled vegetable-based cooking oil.

Flying Club Biofuel Flight
Flying Club Biofuel Flight
** The arrival at KFFA First Flight Airport
with the bioplane N4468N and the Wright
Brothers Monument in the background.
(Left to right is Chris Howitt, President of
Paramus Flying Club, Jochen Spengler, Ross
McCurdy and his son Aedan.)**

If this catches on, there will be jokes about adding a line on fuel order forms: "Do you want fries with that?" Last week, four members of the Paramus (New Jersey) Flying Club flew a Cessna 182 from Rhode Island to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using a 50-50 mix of biofuel and jet-A.

The biofuel, supplied by Dutch company SkyNRG, is manufactured using recycled vegetable-based cooking oil. The Skylane is powered with a French-built SMA diesel engine (so, presumably, the fries will also be French). Chris Howitt, president of the flying club, joined fellow club members Ross McCurdy and Jochen Spengler on the 500-mile flight, along with McCurdy’s nine-year-old son, Aedan. After the flight, McCurdy reported that the engine seemed to run fine — maybe even better than on a diet of straight jet-A.

McCurdy is a high school science teacher in Rhode Island and plans a transcontinental flight this summer using the jet-A-biofuel blend.