Technicians at Arnold Engineering Development Center have begun ground tests on the use of synthetic fuel blend with the B-1B bomber’s F101 engine. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne was on hand at Arnold AFB, Tenn., to see the first series of tests with the 50-50 mix of Fischer-Tropsch and JP-8 jet fuels. Previously the Air Force has certified the synfuel for use on the B-52 and is working toward certification for the C-17 airlifter. The B-1B engine testing is the “first reach into the supersonic,” said Wynne. Ultimately, the service plans to certify all its aircraft to use synfuel to help offset the high cost of fuel.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."