Air Force

July 6, 2012

A-10 first aircraft to use alcohol-based fuel

Tags:
Released by Air Force News Service

An A-10C Thunderbolt II takes off from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 28, 2012, marking the first flight of an aircraft powered solely by a alcohol-derived jet fuel blend. ATJ, or Alcohol to Jet, 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.

(AFNS) — On June 28, the 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., made history 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.


 
 

 
1000-hours

Pilot reaches milestone, achieves 1000 flight hours

Maj. Matt Allen, a 706th Reserve Squadron full-time air reserve technician who is assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron as an F-22 test director, stands by an F-22 Raptor before flight July 21, at Nellis Air Force B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Daniel Millard, 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman, prepares to fuel an aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 22, at Nellis Air Force...
 
 
raptors1

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 

 

Air Force announces changes to headquarters organization

WASHINGTON — Air Force leaders announced changes to headquarters staff manning and organization July 14. The Air Force will create efficiencies by deactivating and realigning organizations at Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, Numbered Air Forces and Field Operating Agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years. “I...
 
 

LEAP application window opens

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. — The Language Enabled Airman Program is accepting active-duty officer and enlisted applications July 15 – Aug. 22. Those intending to submit applications must register their intent to apply by Aug. 8. Officer candidate students in their senior years may also apply. LEAP is a career-spanning program to identify, develop and...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

Red Flag 14-3 just days away

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young An F-15E Strike Eagle flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker while waiting for its wingman to finish refueling during Red Flag 14-2 March 13 over the Nevada Test and Training R...
 




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