A world-first eco flight has been celebrated by an MP who was lucky enough to be on board.

Virgin Atlantic Airways, which has its HQ in Crawley, set off from Heathrow on Wednesday bound for New York's JFK - using only sustainable aviation fuel made from waste fats and plant sugars.

And Crawley MP Henry Smith was one of the passengers on the milestone flight to the United States.

The Argus: Captain Jon Walker who was flying the planeCaptain Jon Walker who was flying the plane (Image: Virgin Atlantic)

The fuel is an alternative to fossil-derived jet fuel, while still being compatible with existing aviation infrastructure.

It is currently permitted to be used as a 50 per cent blend with traditional jet fuel, but Tuesday's Virgin Atlantic flight hoped to show that solely using the sustainable fuel was viable.

Henry Smith said: "I’m very proud of Virgin Atlantic Airways for accepting the UK government’s challenge to fly the world’s first transatlantic 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel flight which it achieved on Tuesday. 

"Being on board and part of this significant environmental as well as aviation milestone was a privilege.

“I’ve been a long-standing advocate of government giving its support for decarbonised aviation in Britain through a home-grown SAF industry.

“Let this successful 100 per cent SAF London to New York flight be a moment we will look back on in the years and decades to come where new opportunities for aviation were proven.”

The Argus: The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines used on the flightThe Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines used on the flight (Image: Virgin Atlantic)

Henry also serves as the chairman of the all party parliamentary group for the future of aviation

He was joined by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper among other industry bosses.

Sir Richard said: “The world will always assume something can’t be done, until you do it. The spirit of innovation is getting out there and trying to prove that we can do things better for everyone’s benefit.

“Virgin Atlantic has been challenging the status quo and pushing the aviation industry to never settle and do better since 1984.

"Fast forward nearly 40 years, that pioneering spirit continues to be Virgin Atlantic’s beating heart as it pushes the boundaries from carbon fibre aircraft and fleet upgrades to sustainable fuels.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be on board Flight100 today alongside the teams at Virgin Atlantic and our partners, which have been working together to set the flight path for the decarbonisation of long-haul aviation.”