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To help with agility, as well as power and efficiency, the team started using planes that could run on either regulation plane fuel or ethanol.

This year marks the fifth seasonMr. Poe’s team has used ethanol, but the MX-S, which Mr. Poe will be flying this weekend, is only 2 months old. The cherry-colored plane weighs only 1,190 pounds.

Mr. Wanless said people are surprised when they hear that a performance plane can run on an alcohol-based fuel, but the team prefers it when flying for a show because “you get more horsepower, and it’s more efficient.”

Mr. Poe isn’t the only pilot to see the value in alternative fuel. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who happen to be Mr. Poe’s favorite part of the airshow, for the first time will be flying on biofuel, Mr. Sharman said.

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