Cessna 182 Pilot Attempts Flight with Fuel from Plastic

Over 5 tons of plastic needed to produce fuel for the flight.

Cessna 182 Plastic Flight

Cessna 182 Plastic Flight

As Cessna works to introduce its new jet-fuel-burning diesel 182 into the market by the second quarter of next year, one individual Cessna 182 pilot is taking the quest for alternative fuels into his own hands.

Jeremy Rowsell is planning on flying a six-day trip from Sydney to London in a Cessna 182 – which has been modified with a diesel engine – powered by fuel made from recycled plastic.

The fuel will be provided by CynarPlc, which converts end-of-life plastics into synthetic fuels by means of pyrolysis and distillation. The plastic is essentially melted at high temperatures, after which the gases produced during the process are collected and turned into liquid fuel.

According to CynarPlc, approximately 5.5 tons of plastic will be required to produce the 1,000-plus gallons of diesel needed to complete the journey. The fuel will be positioned at planned airport stops along the route, which include Christmas Island, Sri Lanka and Malta, among others.

With CynarPlc anticipating the fuel will be useable up to an altitude of 8,000 feet, Rowsell says he is planning to fly the route at 5,000 feet.

Due to the serious risks involved in the flight, Rowsell and his team have had difficulty attracting sponsors so far.

The flight’s launch date is set for October, but according to a recent team statement it might be pushed back until next year.