It seems that the “green” bug has caught on with those responsible for engineering the future fighting force. There is no question that the U.S. Military and its equipment is elite in more ways than one. However, now it is being fitted to go green and fly on bio jet fuel.
Innovation is critical to advance one nation ahead of another, but the Air Force is making a bold statement with their successful testing of a blended fuel for the most feared anti-tank military aircraft, the A-10 Warthog.
Air Force | Air Force scientists test, develop bio jet fuels
While the world searches for more efficient ways to fuel automobiles and create usable energy, Air Force scientists are looking for cleaner, more efficient ways to fuel the military’s aircraft.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II flew March 25 solely on a blend of biomass-derived fuel and conventional JP-8 jet fuel; the first flight of its kind.
Air Force Materiel Command fuels experts Jeff Braun, the Air Force’s alternative fuels certification office director; Tim Edwards, a senior chemical engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s propulsion directorate; and Betty Rodriguez, the chief engineer for the alternative fuels certification office, direct the research and certification of synthetic and biomass-derived alternative aviation fuels from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, participated in a “DOD Live” bloggers roundtable and offered their perspectives on the history-making demonstration flight.
The A-10 was powered by a blend of conventional JP-8 and a biomass fuel derived from camelina, a nonfood rotation crop similar to soybean and mustard. The alternative fuels certification office is preparing to test fuels made primarily from plant oils and animal fats. They are part of a family of fuels Mr. Braun said are called “hydro-treatable renewable jet,” or HRJ, fuels. He and his colleagues hope to create biomass fuels that the Air Force will certify for use across its spectrum of aircraft and support vehicles.
The A-10 flight is the latest phase of a long research and development process evaluating candidate biofuels from various industry sources. Part of that process, Mr. Edwards said, is testing different kinds of biomass materials and biomass processing methods. Read the entire article HERE.