Air Force

July 5, 2012

A-10 first aircraft to use alcohol-based fuel

Tags:
Minty Knighton
Eglin Air Force Base Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)
Senior Airman Mitchell Harrington, of the 46th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, goes over last minute checks before sending the A-10 on its first flight using an alcohol-derived fuel blend June 28, 2012, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — On June 28, the 40th Flight Test Squadron made history here flying the first aircraft to use a new fuel blend derived from alcohol.

“The A-10 is the first aircraft ever to fly on this fuel,” said Jeff Braun, Chief for the Air Force Alternative Fuel Certification Division, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

“It flew like a usual A-10 would without any issues,” said Maj. Olivia Elliott, an A-10 pilot and an evaluator for the mission.

The fuel, known as ATJ (Alcohol-to-Jet) is the third alternative fuel to be evaluated by the Air Force for fleet-wide use as a replacement for standard petroleum-derived JP-8 aviation fuel.

Before ATJ, other alternative fuels included a synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from coal and natural gas and a bio-mass fuel derived from plant-oils and animal fats known as Hydroprocessed Renewable Jet.

ATJ is a cellulousic-based fuel. It can be derived using wood, paper, grass, anything that is a cell-based material. The sugars extracted from these materials are fermented into alcohols, which are then hydro-processed into the aviation-grade kerosenes used for aviation fuel.

The Fischer-Tropsch SPK blend has been fully certified by the Air Force for operational use throughout the Air Force. All testing of the bio-mass HRJ has been completed and formal coordination is underway to certify it as an approved fuel agent.

Like ATJ, the bio-mass fuel was first tested by 40th FLTS in 2010, using the same A-10 test platform.

“The A-10 is an excellent platform for testing the new fuel due in part to its segregated fuel system,” said Capt. Joseph Rojas, A-10 test engineer. “The system allows one engine to run off a fuel supply that is completely segregated from the other engine. This allows us to fly with one engine on the new fuel and the other on traditional fuel. If engine operation is normal, as with the ATJ blend, then we progress to flying with both engines on the new fuel.”

The A-10 ATJ fuel test went through similar ground and flight tests, using a mixture of the alternative fuel and the standard Air Force JP-8 .

Ground-based testing included monitoring engine performance and ensuring all data correlated favorably to both the technical requirements and JP-8 fuel specification. Flight tests included analyzing aircraft performance during controlled accelerations and climbs and operational maneuvering.

The Air Force has recently approved fleet-wide certification efforts of the ATJ fuel blend. Once the AFCD completes all air and ground testing, the ATJ will be approved as an official alternative fuel source for Air Force use.

“Eventually, it is possible that aircraft will see JP-8 consisting of all these alternatives,” said Braun. “You won’t be able to determine the difference and you won’t care, because all perform as JP-8.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment available for public review

The revised draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) was released by Air Combat Command here today. The release initiates a 30-day public comment period, which ends October 23.  Substantive public comments submitted by that date will be considered before the Air Force makes any determinations on the proposal.  These comments will...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

AF signs Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staf...
 
 

Airmen must revalidate dependents by Dec. 31

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air...
 

 

Phased rollout to improve enlisted evaluation system

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force chief of enlisted force policy outlined the implementation of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17. Developed in 1968, and implemented two years later, the existing Weighted Airman Promotion System has been in...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron: Maintenance Flight

The 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s Maintenance Flight performs phase inspections on A-10C Thunderbolt IIs after 500 flight hours. During a phase inspection, the A-10 is given a complete in-depth inspection, searching ...
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin