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Honeywell, Dutch Air Force achieve first helicopter flight on sustainable biofuels

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Honeywell UOP's "Green Jet Fuel" successfully powered a Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopter flown by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Honeywell UOP announced on Wednesday that its "Green Jet Fuel" successfully powered a Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopter flown by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The Des Plaines, Ill.-based company says it's the first helicopter flight using sustainable aviation biofuels ever. The test was conducted at Gilze-Rijen Airbase.

The news comes on the heels of Honeywell UOP's successful test of a biofuels-powered F/A-18 Super Hornet owned by the U.S. Navy on April 22 of this year.

The "green jet fuel" is derived from the natural oils of algae and used cooking oil. It was blended in a 50 percent mixture with traditional jet fuel, powering one of the Apache's engines for a series of maneuvers.

No modifications were made to the engine or airframe for the flight.

The technology used to process the biofuel was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA for short, with the goal of producing renewable military jet fuel for the U.S. military.

Photo: Boeing

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure