New Marrow for the BONE

The Air Force plans later this week to conduct the first-ever flight of a B-1B bomber burning the synthetic fuel mix that it wants its entire inventory to start using by early next decade. USAF spokeswoman Vicki Stein said March 17, a B-1B from Dyess, AFB, Tex., will make the demonstration flight. It “will further demonstrate the Air Force’s commitment to using alternative fuels and is the next step in the certification process before the fuel can go into widespread use,” she said. The synthetic blend is a mix of 50 percent traditional JP-8 aviation fuel and 50 percent Fischer-Tropsch Kerosene, which is derived from natural gas, but can also be yielded from coal. Already the B-52H bomber is certified to use the FTK. The Air Force is nearing certification of the C-17 transport aircraft.