Apache first heli in the world to fly on biofuel
For the very first time in history, a helicopter has flown on biofuel. On 17 June at Gilze Rijen Air Base, an Apache AH-64D attack helicopter of the Royal Netherlands Air Force performed a demonstration flight with biological fuel.
One of the Apache’s two engines was running on a mixture of fossile and bio-kerosene. Ninety percent of this biological kerosene comes from used deep-frying oil and 10 percent comes from algae oil. The flight was preceded by months of preparation, which saw intensive cooperation with several organisations such as Boeing, Honeywell UOP, SkyNRG, NLR, Ingrepro, KLM and General Electric.
“Perhaps all our aircraft will eventually fly on this bio-fuel”, said Lieutenant General Jac Jansen, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, to those attending the demonstration, Minister of Defence Eimert van Middelkoop among them. “That would not only reduce CO2 and other emissions, but also our dependence on fossile fuels.”
The new possibilities in technology tie in with the great importance the Defence organisation attaches to innovation. It is therefore no coincidence that it follows developments in the area of alternative fuels and sustainable energy very closely. Although the technology used to produce bio-fuel from algae is still in its infancy, this demonstration flight can be considered an important step in its further development.