Air China Completes First Sustainable Biofuel Flight Using Pratt & Whitney PW4000 94- inch Engines

Oct 28, 2011, 09:34 ET from Pratt & Whitney

BEIJING, Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Air China, in partnership with Boeing, Honeywell UOP, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, PetroChina and Pratt & Whitney, today completed a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown in China. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

Air China's Boeing 747 aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 94-inch engines, completed approximately a one hour flight. No modifications to the aircraft or engine were required for the biofuel, which is a "drop-in" replacement for petroleum-based fuel.

"As one of the largest and fasting growing aviation markets, China needs to grow its aviation industry in an environmentally friendly and economical way," said Mr. He Li, senior vice president, Air China. "This flight is an important milestone for Air China and the aviation industry, as it demonstrates that aviation biofuels are viable and sustainable."

"Air China's inaugural biofuel flight shows true progress toward creating a greener future for the aviation industry," said Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney's vice president, Technology and Environment. "Pratt & Whitney is committed to developing technology solutions that help the aviation industry grow in an environmentally and economically efficient manner."

The flight was completed as part of the Energy Cooperation Program's Sustainable Biofuel Program, led by Boeing and other industry members, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney. Announced by the Chinese and U.S. governments in 2009, the Energy Cooperation Program leverages government and private sectors for project development work in China across a broad array of clean energy projects. In May 2010, Boeing, PetroChina, and representatives of the China energy sector and the global aviation industry announced the Sustainable Biofuel Program to provide strategic assessment of the potential for sustainable aviation biofuels in China, the first such effort in the Asian region.

Air China is China's national flag carrier for civil aviation and a member of Star Alliance – the world's largest airline alliance. It ranks first in brand value among domestic airlines, and it leads the market over its domestic competitors in terms of passenger and freight air transport and related services.

Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the research, certification and demonstration of alternative fuels. Pratt & Whitney led a cross-industry team of engine manufacturers that updated the current fuel specification guide. This new global industry standard outlines the steps required to safely and economically evaluate and certify any alternative fuel for use in aviation.

Pratt & Whitney has been committed to exploring the use of alternative fuels for nearly two decades and works with industry groups, customers and aircraft manufacturers to explore alternative fuel options that improve fuel supplies and reduce environmental emissions.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.

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