Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The Air Force Research Laboratory has recently completed a ground test series on a new kind of high-efficiency diesel engine.
The Craflight V-8 4.3 diesel engine is designed by Engineered Propulsion Systems at the Arnold Engineering and Development Center. It is designed specifically for aircraft and uses up to 40 percent less fuel than similar engines while increasing range and flight time by up to 50 percent. The Air Force is considering the design for aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
"Overall, if implemented, this technology has the potential to provide the Air Force a significant improvement in mission flexibility," Capt. Randall Hodkin, Aviation Working Group lead officer, said in a press release.
The engine can use diesel, Jet-A or JP-8 fuels, simplifying fuel supply services and letting it use what is already available where deployed.
"Often one of the greatest military logistics burdens is fuel transport," Hodkin said.
"If we can reduce or eliminate the need to ship specialized fuels, we've then reduced the associated cost and risk.
The U.S. military's energy needs consumed over 87 million barrels of fuel in 2014, making it the world's largest institutional consumer of oil.
The Air Force Research Laboratory out of Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio employs over 10,000 military personnel, civilian scientists and other workers involved in defense research.
Their research covers aerospace medicine, hypersonic vehicles, directed energy weapons and many other fields.