India entered a club of select countries on Monday as nation’s first biofuel-powered test flight successfully covered the distance from Dehradun to Delhi. Turboprop aircraft of a budget airline created history and has started a journey that is sure to bring in more economic and environmental benefits in days and months to come.
As the Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft of low-cost airlines SpiceJet touched down on the runway of Delhi Airport, it also heralded a new and exciting phase in aviation and energy sector of India.
This is a historic moment for India indeed as very few countries have displayed the technological know how to develop the advanced biofuel that can power aircraft engines.
Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan were present at the airport.
Suresh Prabhu has said that the ministry will not stop at this feat. A new action plan is in the offing which will aim to achieve considerable change in sectors environmental footprint by 2035.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, under whose ministry the biofuel was developed by the Indian Institute of petroleum was all praise for the scientists who achieved the milestone.
He said that the large-scale production of biofuel will also add wings to the UDAAN scheme
Union minister Nitin Gadkari who has been a strong and vocal proponent of BioFuel predicted that in coming years increased use of biofuel will also help the stressed aviation industry to improve its balance sheets
The sentiments were reciprocated by the aviation industry immediately.
The Fuel developed by Indian Institute of petroleum is based of extracts of Jatropha plant seed.
The biofuel used in the Bombardier turboprop is a mix of the oil extracted from the seeds of Jatropha plant and aviation turbine fuel. One engine of the plane ran on Biofuel mixed with aviation turbine fuel while the other engine was only on aviation turbine hydrocarbons.
The test flight has put India on aviation biofuel map which has very few countries as exclusive members as of now.