Monday, November 24, 2008

USAF experimenting with synthetic fuel

The US Air Force are trialling synthetic fuel for it's aircraft based on natural gas. Aircraft from it's fighter, trainer and transport fleets have all been trialled or will be with the fuel, the F-22 recently conducting flight tests with the fuel and no anomalies were found. A T-38 is currently in flight test and a C-5 will begin trials next month. Trials will also take place with the C-130, A-10, RQ-4 and MQ-9. The USAF aims to have it's entire fleet certified by 2011 and by 2016 have half it's domestic fuel needs met by synthetic fuels derived from coal and natural gas by the Fischer-Tropsch process.

Syntroleum has produced over 400,000 gallons of fuel using the Fischer-Tropsch process and has been working with the USAF on the right fuel blend. It would be interesting to know what the RAF are doing on this, if anything.

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