EADS to Unveil Algae-powered Plane

Company said it would be happy if 10% of its fleet is flying with biofuel in 2040

European aerospace giant EADS will fly an an algae- powered plane (a Diamond DA42) at the ILA Berlin Airshow from June 9-13, the company's technical director said on June 4.

Also demonstrated at the show will be a hybrid helicopter concept which combines an OPOC diesel engine with electrical power.

"At the ILA, we are going to fly for the first time a craft with biofuel that has been made 100% from algae. That is a world premiere," Botti said.

"We need a paradigm shift in the aviation industry. We soon need an alternative to kerosine," he said, adding: "If 10% of our fleet is flying with biofuel in 2040, I would be extremely happy."

Slimy, fast-growing and full of fat, algae is quickly gaining ground as a potential renewable energy source.

Experts say it is also potentially useful for its ability to gobble up carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, while living happily in places not needed for food crops.

"I have high hopes for algae," said Botti.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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