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Look, It's the Green Hornet! Navy to Test Biofuels in F-18 Fighter Jet

Aug 18, 2009 - Matthew McDermott - Alternative Energy

F/A-18 Super hornet
photo: Wikipedia

By this time next year, the US Navy will have commenced biofuel tests on one of its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets. A request for proposal for some 40,000 gallons of JP-5 aviation biofuel was just issued. No word on what feedstocks will be used in that fuel yet, other than the stipulation that no food crops are used:

Biofuel to be Mixed 50-50 with Petro-fuel
Jatropha, camelina and algae are all in the running says the Navy's Rick Kamin, but whatever the exact feedstock mix -- that will be determined by whatever company is awarded the contract, expected to happen later this month -- the fuel will be mixed 50-50 with petroleum-based jet fuel in these tests.

Prior to flight test, ground tests on the Super Hornet's engine will take place at a General Electric facility later this year. These test will consume 18,000 gallons of the aviation biofuel.

Biofuels Digest points out that based on the carrier-based Super Hornet's fuel consumption, the flight tests will cover at least 15,000 miles of air time.

More: US Navy

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