New Fuel Blend Debuts

An A-10C ground-attack aircraft on March 25 became the first aircraft to fly running on a new 50-50 blend of traditional JP-8 fuel and a biomass-derived hydrotreated renewable jet fuel during a test sortie from Eglin AFB, Fla. All mission data have yet to be analyzed, but Air Force officials said they consider the flight a success. “This sortie was pretty uneventful and predictable. … That’s a good thing,” said test pilot Maj. Chris Seager, after the flight, which was announced two days prior. He said he noticed “no problems whatsoever” with the aircraft running on this blend. HRJ, along with synthetic paraffinic kerosene, is one of the alternative fuels that USAF is pursuing to increase US energy independence. Next up for the HRJ/JP-8 blend is an F-15 flight test this summer. (Eglin report by Samuel King Jr.) (For more, see AFPS’ Tuesday report.)