Continental Airlines announced today they're scheduling a test flight next month in which a 737 will be powered by algae.
So if you're nervous flier, this is the thing for you. Not only do you get to worry about sitting in an increibly thinly walled aluminum tube, being held up only by some theory, now you've got to worry about whether little green plants are really the best thing to power jet planes.
Really, what could go wrong?
The test flight won't be quite as radical as it sounds -- only one of the jet's engines will be using the combination of algae-derived fuel, mixed with something else called jatropha, which is a different kind of plant. And that engine will be 50 percent salad stuff, 50 percent regular, ol' pollutin' jet fuel.
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The pilots will be testing acceleration, deceleration, turns, climbs and all that kind of stuff on the January 7 flight in Houston. (Including the always-fun in-flight engine cut-off and re-start.)
No tickets available for the general public, unfortunately.
-- Richard Connelly