The Air Force has flown a B-52 with a blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8 jet fuel powering all eight of the bomber’s engines. In September, the service successfully flew the B-52 with the synfuel-blend in just two engines. This latest test brings USAF “one step closer to allowing a domestic source of synthetic fuel to accomplish the Air Force mission in the future,” stated Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. Faced with rising fuel costs, the service has set a goal to achieve a 50 percent reduction in use of standard aviation fuel by 2016. Next, it plans to test the synfuel in extreme cold weather.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.