By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Aerospace
A U.S. Navy-owned F/A-18 Super Hornet is the first supersonic jet with afterburners to fly on a biofuels blend.
The Boeing-made aircraft lifted off at about 2:45 p.m. on Thursday from a runway at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md., and was attended by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
The flight is one of a series of 17 biofuel test flights that will be conducted by the Navy, which seeks to certify the use of alternative fuels in military aircraft.
It comes on the heels of a similar flight by the U.S. Air Force with an A-10 Thunderbolt in March.
The jet was fueled with a 50/50 mixture of "green jet fuel" derived from camelina oil and petroleum-based military jet fuel and made by aerospace giant Honeywell's UOP division.
Camelina is an inedible plant considered to be a sustainable resource because it grows in conditions where other food crops cannot.
The fuel was made using a renewable jet fuel process technology developed in a project for U.S. Defense Energy Support Center and, prior to that, under contract by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
The process is based on hydroprocessing technology used in refineries to produce transportation fuels, and allows for a biofuel that can be mixed in with traditional fuel without requiring changes to the aircraft.
Honeywell has been commissioned to produce up to 190,000 gallons of fuel for the Navy and 400,000 gallons for the U.S. Air Force from sustainable, non-food feedstocks, such as animal fats, algae and camelina.
Apr 22, 2010
Whatever, the fact we are more conscious of environment being heavily damaged by fuels, we will gradually come to a global social system and global economy that will heavily reduce air travel and hopefully make the very concept of WAR ridiculous for resloving issues. Till our minds, systems and ecocomy evolve and develop for a no war conflict resolution, this is great to think of alternative fuels causing lesser damage whatever the cost
I googled "camelina oil" and the first price listed was $75 a gallon! Yet another example that "going green" COSTS "more green".
I googled "camelina oil" and the first price listed was $75 a gallon ! JP4 costs how much ? http://www.google.com/products?q=%22camelina+oil%22&hl=en&aq=f
For the uninformed, they sell this a green technology for the voters, reality is you get better performance from biofuels as they have have a higher octane rating and suffer less from bad detonation. Many car enthusiasts have been onto this for some time, getting big power and torque gains when converting to biofuels. That said, it also burns a lot more fuel than your typical OPEC based fuels. I'm sure you can find many examples online of these claims, take a look at the one below to see how many happy customers are now running this super juice! http://www.skylinesaustralia.com/forums/Guilt-toy-Running-E85-t239271.html
April 23 It is good that The USA and Honeywell are looking ahead to cleaner and more sustainable fuels. Its good using the Camelina plant for fuels, as it will not take anything away anything from the consumption of Animals as it is a useless weed. It would be better and I agree with Gary in using it stop Wars, but USA military might is still needed for too many Countries hate the US and are still rattling their Sabers. But as to stopping wars with doing away with research in alternate fuels is not the way to go. But maybe we can send you to go talk with Osama or visit Iran or North Korea and tell them to be cool. Think about that next time you start your car, or tuck you Kids in bed and live in relative safety, as USA looks out for all their citizen's. We cannot stick or heads in the Sand and hope for the best, Wars are part on the History of the world and will not stop anytime soon. Darren R&D Spar aerospace Canada
In the meantime, the Air Force is holding up wind turbine farms in Oregon and perhaps all over the nation. http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/intelligent-energy/air-force-takes-aim-at-oregon-wind-farm/861/
"Think of the flexiblity of a fleet of trucks, tanks, etc. able to run on just about any thing available." You're thinking of Mr Fusion. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the banana peel doesn't really work :P
geminixx, the idea that we need a military to support technological advances is rediculous. We don't. To the contrary all that wasted money spent on aircraft carriers and such would be MUCH better spent doing pure technology research. Clearly eliminating war is the biggest challenge, but I would even go as far as to say it's inevitable that we will. It just a matter of how long it takes. A good start would be a revamp of our UN. We need something more reliant on democracy, like this... http://www.UnitedDemocraticNations.org Sorry for straying so far from the article, but the only thing green about the military is camouflage. gary
Good to see that the military is still thinking ahead. But the green part is probaly not the most important part. The bio-fuel part is critical to lessen the threat of an embargo. Also the military has led for years in development of multifuel vehicles. They funded Fords(and others)research into stratifided charge engines because of multfuel. Think of the flexiblity of a fleet of trucks, tanks, etc. able to run on just about any thing available.
It would have been interesting for the article to provide a cost comparison of the biofuel to the petrofuel - green often costs substantially more, which means the taxpayer would have to be willing to carry a heavier load to be green. In response to the emotional and short-sighted comment: "This is an incredibly silly concept. Green would be to stop fighting wars" - 1. Green is green.In principle, you are for it or against it. In practice, you may not be willing to pay extra for it. 2. Most technological advances come as a result of investigation into military application. If you are vehemently opposed to this, get rid of your cell phone, computer, and microwave oven. 3. In the military ideal, you would be able to eliminate the threat your enemies pose while leaving the environment uncontaminated for the use of your allies. 4. To stop wars, all you need do is first eliminate greed, be it financial, religious or other.Concentrate on the cause, not the symptom.