Smart Takes

Powered by cooking oil, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner crosses Pacific

Powered by cooking oil, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner crosses Pacific

Posting in Energy

Boeing completes its first transpacific flight powered by biofuels, using a 787 Dreamliner running on used cooking oil between the U.S. and Tokyo.

We've always coveted All Nippon Airways' business class seats -- lay-flat seats? USB ports? local cuisine? sign us up! -- but now all that luxury comes at a slightly better price.

No, a flight to Tokyo Haneda airport will still cost as much as a small car. But the environment (and ANA's CFO) can breathe a bit easier now that Boeing has successfully completed its first-ever transpacific flight running on biofuels with its flagship 787 Dreamliner.

The flight between Boeing's Delivery Center in Everett, Wash. and Tokyo is a win for both companies. Boeing gets some positive press for its long-delayed flagship aircraft and a bit more for its commitment to using biofuels; meanwhile, ANA shows that it's at the forefront of aviation technology while saving on fuel costs, too.

The biofuel used by the aircraft was derived mainly from used cooking oil and emitted about 30 percent fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional airplanes. (Boeing will have you know that two-thirds of that reduction was the Dreamliner's efficient technology at work.)

The flight certainly plays into airlines' goal to manage carbon-neutral growth by 2020, but the greater attraction is the ability to cut down on fuel costs, which now represent the lion's share of ticket prices.

Less fuel to get from Point A to Point B? That's good news for everybody.

Share this

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