Fuel prices are heading up through another roof, but Brazil has an answer.
Embraer just delivered the first commercial aircraft to run on ethanol. Apparently there are already 400 airplanes running on ethanol in Brazil, this is just the first in commercial production. CBC claims that the aircraft is a commercial jet, but the press release makes it clear that the EMB202 Ipanemao is a single-engine crop sprayer, with a 300 hp engine, presumably piston. Embraer also offers a retrofit kit, and plans more ethanol-burning aircraft. Brazil has a domestic supply of ethanol, made from a byproduct of sugar cane processing.
As a Canadian, I can't link to Embraer without mentioning Bombardier. The two companies are both adept at producing regional jets, attracting governement handouts, and whining internationally that the other offers unfair competition because of the level of government subsidy. Fortunately, Bombardier has a story today, too.
The Bombardier Board of Directors has given the go ahead to offer the C-Series. Based on customer response, and government subsidies, they may actually make the thing, basically a Canadian answer to the B737. No word yet on whether there will be a version that runs on fermented maple syrup.