The first flight by an aircraft in which all of its engines were powered by a mix of biofuel and conventional jet fuel has been completed by the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II took a 90-minute flight in which its engines were filled with a 50-50 blend of conventional fuel and camelina-based jet fuel.
Camelina is the biofuel feedstock of choice for the U.S. military. It was chosen for research and development because it does not compete with food crops, and has also been proven to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Furthermore, the crop can be grown domestically, is drought tolerant, can be grown on marginal land, is a superb rotation crop for wheat, and it requires less fertilizer and herbicides than other biofuel feedstocks.
In October 2009 Sustainable Oils won the contract to provide the U.S. Air Force with its camelina jet fuel. Sustainable Oils, which has the largest camelina program in the U.S., is contracted to supply 100,000 gallons of fuel to the Air Force between 2009 and 2010. The Air Force also has an option to purchase another 100,000 gallons between 2010 and 1012.
Further flights to test performance and fuel consumption on other military aircraft will be conducted later this year. As Terry Yonkers, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics explains, "The Air Force is committed to reducing our reliance on foreign oil. Our goal is to reduce demand, increase supply and change the culture and mindset of our fuel consumption."
Here is a link to video footage of the flight.
Read the full story at Sustainable Oils: Sustainable Oils Produces Camelina-based Fuel for Historic U.S. Air Force Flight
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