Navy trainer flies on biofuel

Aug. 29, 2011 at 7:27 AM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy T-45 trainer plane was successfully flown using biofuel as the service expands its alternative energy program.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division said the high-performance jet trainer used a biofuel mixture of petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel and plant-based camelina. The high oil content of the camelina seed makes it a valuable source of renewable and sustainable energy.

"This successful test flight brings us a step closer to meeting the Navy's energy security goals," said Vice Adm. David Architzel, commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "My congratulations to the Navy fuels team here at NAVAIR for playing an instrumental role in proving the viability of bio-fuels to power naval aircraft."

The T-45 "Goshawk" is a tandem-seat aircraft used by the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to train pilots on carrier and tactical mission operations. It was the fifth aircraft successfully tested using bio-fuel at NAS Patuxent River. Previous aircraft tested include the F/18 E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18 D and the MV-22.

"This test of the T-45 with a 50/50 blend of bio-fuel represents another significant milestone in the long list of detailed flight test and demonstrations of the F-18 Super Hornet, the MH-60S, and the V-22," said Rear Adm. Philip Cullom, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division.

"Our commitment to the aggressive test schedule for drop-in replacement fuels for JP-5 and F-76 keep us on pace for the 2012 demonstration and 2016 deployment of the Great Green Fleet."

Three additional Navy aircraft are scheduled for bio-fuel test flights before the end of the year.

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