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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 
 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 

 

Deeds, not words make ‘quiet professionals’

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Joint U.S. forces train together during integrated Green Flag exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway during Green Flag-West 14-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 21. Green ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 




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