Few pilots are probably also readers of Plastics & Rubber Weekly or BusinessGreen but both publications have articles about Pilot Jeremy Rowsell who intends to fly from Sydney to London in a Cessna 182 powered from a fuel made out of plastic waste. Specifically, Jeremy’s “On Wings of Waste” project will attempt to break two records:
- To be the first to fly via plastic waste fuel at 100% treatment.
- To break a flight time from Sydney to London for a single engine piston plane.
To break those records, Jeremy will use a fuel produced by Ireland based Cynar PLC – company that is developing and has a patent applied for a technology to convert a wide range of end of life plastics (ELP) into liquid fuels. The plastic-derived fuel has already been tested in cars but Jeremy’s flight will be the first real-life trial in an aircraft.
However, Cynar chief executive Michael Murray has stated that the fuel needs more testing and trials but it should be just fine in a diesel engine not going beyond 8,000 feet. Jeremy will also be needing 400 litres to complete the London to Sydney flight with that amount of fuel requiring around five tonnes of plastic waste to produce. Hence and if large quantities of plastic waste can be secured, plastic based fuel could become a green fuel alterative for small general aviation aircraft but there is no mention of costs in either article and whether plastic based fuel will be competitive with more traditional fuels.
As for the flight itself which is scheduled for autumn (and more likily for November), Jeremy plans to stop along the 10,000-mile route at Darwin, Christmas Island, Sri Lanka, Oman, Jordan and Malta. He will also be cruising at 5,000 feet for stretches of up to 13 hours before reaching London six days later.