US Bomber Flies With Only 'Synfuel-Blend' Aboard
A B-52 Stratofortress flew a flight-test mission on Friday using
a special blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8 in all eight engines.
This marks the first time a B-52 has flown using a synfuel blend as
the only fuel on board.
As ANN reported In September, the Air Force successfully flew a
B-52 with two-engines using the synfuel-blend while the others used
"The B-52 test flights at Edwards Air Force Base are the initial
steps in the Air Force process to test and certify a synthetic
blend of fuel for its aviation fleet," said Secretary of the Air
Force Michael W. Wynne. "We are confident that the success of this
flight will bring us one step closer to allowing a domestic source
of synthetic fuel to accomplish the Air Force mission in the
The first B-52 flight using Fischer-Tropsch fuel occurred
September 19 at Edwards.
According to its manufacturers, the specialized synthetic fuel
boasts superior performance over traditional crude oil-based
aviation fuels. The company says particulates and soot emissions
are reduced over 90 percent. The man-made fuel should improve
engine efficiency, performance and durability, with the bonus of
having less impact on overall air quality.
Today's flight further demonstrates the Air Force's commitment
to using alternate fuels and is the next step in the testing and
certification process before the fuel can go into widespread use,
According to William Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air
Force for installations, environment and logistics, the Air Force
has reinvigorated its energy strategy which is under pinned by
supply-side availability and demand-side conservation.
"The Air Force is moving forward in its commitment to certify
alternative sources of fuel for both its aircraft and ground
vehicles fleet," said Mr. Anderson.
Major General Curtis Bedke, Air Force Flight Test commander, is
flying the aircraft to assess aircraft performance using the
synthetic blend of fuel.
The next test phase for the B-52 will be cold-weather testing to
determine how well the synfuel-blend performs in extreme weather
ANN salutes the men and women of Air Force Print News.