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USAF Globemaster III  (Source: U. S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)
Aircraft can operate on up to 50% biofuel mixed with JP-8

The U.S. military is looking to go green across all branches. The USAF has announced that it has certified its first aircraft for use of biofuel. The first aircraft is the C-17 Globemaster III and it has been certified for unlimited usage of hydroprocessed blended bio fuels known as hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuels.

The aircraft can operate on volumetric blends of up to 50 HRJ fuel with 50% JP-8 jet fuel, which jet aircraft traditionally run on. The aircraft can also operate on 25% HRJ, 25% synthetic paraffinic kerosene fuel, and 50% JP-8.

"We're very proud of this certification," said Terry Yonkers, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics. "By using a 'pathfinder' approach, we've taken the success of our processes developed in our previous alternative fuel certifications work and learned how to efficiently streamline our HRJ certification efforts, while guaranteeing the fuel blend will work without notable difference to the pilots."

The certification of the aircraft is part of an ongoing program by the Air Force to certify and test biofuels from non-petroleum sources. Yonkers added that the biofuels also burn cleaner than traditional jet fuels with no compounds like sulfur.

It's also important to note that the blended biofuels require no changes to the aircraft at all to use. Air Force alternative fuel certification office chief Jeff Braun said, "We expect to conclude HRJ flight testing within the next 12 months, supporting fleetwide HRJ certification within the next 22 months." He continued, "When blended as we've done, this is a potential drop-in solution for jet fuel for our aircraft, requiring no modification to systems or special handling or monitoring."

Braun also stated that the blended fuel doesn’t affect the performance of the aircraft, meaning there are no significant differences in engine stability, thrust response, or steady-state performance when burning the biofuel mix compared to straight JP-8.

The Navy has a biofuel program of its own that has been condemned by some researchers.



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Just another step towards obscurity
By Dorkyman on 2/14/11, Rating: 0
By corduroygt on 2/14/2011 4:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
How does this castrate our Air Force exactly? Having more fuel options for planes is a good thing so the aircraft can still be mission capable in the face of fuel shortages.
Like it or not, it's getting more and more expensive to get oil out of the ground and it's a good idea to be ready for alternative sources.


By wired00 on 2/14/2011 11:04:44 PM , Rating: 1
yeah they're shaking their heads at the wonder of spending $580+Billion a year on the war machine.


By JediJeb on 2/16/2011 12:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
Or you can look at it as the day we run out of petroleum we will still have planes that can fly while others may not. Be it 50 years from now or 1000 years from now it will happen and building in redundancy into your energy supplies and options is definitely wise.


Missing info
By shadowamazon on 2/15/2011 11:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
We are all operating under the assumption that the new fuel type offers the same performance as the old. This article doesn't exactly say, but for illustration purpose you may have a 50% blend of bio fuel which provides 50% of operating range in comparison to the normal jet fuel. So what does it leaves you? Nothing.




RE: Missing info
By erikstarcher on 2/15/2011 7:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
As per the article:

quote:
Braun also stated that the blended fuel doesn’t affect the performance of the aircraft, meaning there are no significant differences in engine stability, thrust response, or steady-state performance when burning the biofuel mix compared to straight JP-8.


RE: Missing info
By shadowamazon on 2/17/2011 3:39:54 AM , Rating: 1
i don't think this quote specifically address the issue i raised. The engine operates within the normal operating range, isn't the same as saying it can fly as far as using regular fuel.
For example, in a car, when using a bio blend, your throttle response is good simply means when you put your foot down on the gas, the car moves forward as expected. It doesn't mean you get the same mileage. If they take out the word thrust response, and say it provides same amount of thrust, then it counters my concern.


"green" isnt the issue
By kattanna on 2/14/2011 11:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The certification of the aircraft is part of an ongoing program by the Air Force to certify and test biofuels from non-petroleum sources


and thats the heart of the matter right there. trying to expand the options of where their fuel can come from.




RE: "green" isnt the issue
By Murloc on 2/14/2011 4:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, this is not about green.
Even if they need atomic power stations to make it, what matters is not using petroleum.


Aircrat
By Jedi2155 on 2/14/2011 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 1
Are these "aircrats" going to have the same smugness as our typical aristocrats?




RE: Aircrat
By Chernobyl68 on 2/14/2011 12:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
sounds like something from "Ice Age", ie, Scrat...


silly people
By NellyFromMA on 2/14/2011 4:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
biofuels are absolutely essential for aircraft as well as national security. no terrorist would dare steal an aircraft that can't generate enough force to cause a damaging impact due to inferior fuel, and I can live with that ;) haha not serious for those who don't understand sarcasm.




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