Warthog Goes Synthetic

The Air Force has completed test flights of the A-10 operating with the synthetic fuel blend that it wants its entire aircraft inventory cleared to use by early next decade. Derek Kaufman, spokesman for Air Force Materiel Command, confirmed this to the Daily Report Tuesday. USAF is pursing this fuel initiative as one means to decrease US dependence on foreign sources of energy. The fuel blend comprises 50 percent JP-8 jet fuel and 50 percent synthetic paraffinic kerosene, which is currently derived from natural gas, but can also be made from coal of which the US has abundant supply. So far, the Air Force has certified the B-1B, B-52H, C-17, and F-15 to operate unconstrained on this fuel blend. And the C-5, C-130, F-22, KC-135, and T-38 have flown with it in tests. Next up to fly with the fuel mix is the B-2 bomber, said Kaufman.