Customer Spotlight: Biodiesel Powered Airplane Flight


One of our awesome customers, Ross McCurdy, biodiesel enthusiast and teacher at Ponaganset High School, has been promoting Biodiesel to his students for years now, but this year he did something extra special. He flew from Rhode Island to North Carolina in a Biodiesel powered Cessna 182 single engine aircraft that’s part of the Paramus Flying Club! This is the first time in the US that a piston driven engine has been powered by Biodiesel! Quite a neat accomplishment in and of itself!


The flight was 500 miles and started at the North Central State Airport in Lincoln, Rhode Island. From there they flew to Kitty Hawk First Flight Airport in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which is the same place Orville & Wilbur Wright made their first historic flight! (How’s that for cool?!)

The engine powering the Cessna was a special built SMA Diesel Engine that was approved for use for the trip.
Engine Details:
455 lbs
Four Cylinder diesel engine
Uses Jet A Fuel
42% better fuel efficiency than avgas engines
Greater reliability, less maintenance, and fewer parts
Capable of using renewable Jet fuels
Certificated for Cessna 182 aircraft

The fuel used was from SkyNRG, and was a mixture of 50% Biodiesel to 50% Jet-A fuel.

In preparation for the flight, they fueled up the Cessna with their B50 blend and got everything ready!

On hand to watch the historic flight were many of his students as well as those from the local media.

Once the festivities concluded, Ross, his son, and two other colleagues boarded their biofuel powered Cessna, taxied down the runway and took to the skies!





Ross’s 9 year old son, Aeden McCurdy, had a great time while Ross piloted the plane to North Carolina.


Check out this picture they shot while flying past Atlantic City, New Jersey! (wonder how much oil gets produced down there?)

Here they’re flying near the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Headed towards Kittyhawk

Ross McCurdy pilots the Cessna in for a great landing!

They were greeted at the airport by members of the First Flight Society!

Thumbs up for a successful flight to Kitty Hawk! The Wright Brothers Monument sits in the background too!

Photo op with someone in North Carolina

Then it was time to board back up & fly home again.

Back home with history made! The first piston engine airplane in the US to ever fly with biodiesel in the tank! Mission Successful!

Check out some of the great press they received!
Local Rhode Island TV Station news story on the flight

Outer Banks Sentinel Newspaper Article
Outer Banks Sentinel Kitty Hawk Bioflight page 1
Outer Banks Sentinel Kitty Hawk Bioflight page 2

Press Release
The Official Press Release of their Kittyhawk Biofuel Flight

Aircraft Owners And Pilots Association
Article about the engine used in the plane

Learn more about Ross McCurdy’s cool projects!
Ponaganset High School Renewable Program
Cross-Country Trip In A Biodiesel Powered Pickup Truck

About Utah Biodiesel Supply

Utah Biodiesel Supply is an industry leader in offering innovative ways to empower our customers to produce Biodiesel. From free online instructional videos on how to get started making this great renewable fuel to promotional items to help our customers proclaim their energy independence, Utah Biodiesel Supply has it covered. With the widest selection available of Biodiesel equipment, supplies, and promotional items, you're sure to learn something new about Biodiesel every time you visit.