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B-52 Flight Uses Synthetic Fuel in All Eight Engines

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2006 – A B-52 Stratofortress took off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., today on a flight-test mission using a blend of synthetic fuel and “JP-8” in all eight engines. This is the first time a "Buff" has flown using a “synfuel-blend” as the only fuel on board, Air Force officials said.

In September, the Air Force successfully flew a B-52 with two-engines using the synfuel-blend. "The B-52 test flights at Edwards Air Force Base are the initial steps in the Air Force process to test and certify a synthetic blend of fuel for its aviation fleet," Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said. "We are confident that the success of this flight will bring us one step closer to allowing a domestic source of synthetic fuel to accomplish the Air Force mission in the future.”

The first B-52 flight using “Fischer-Tropsch” fuel occurred Sept. 19 at Edwards. Today's flight further demonstrates the Air Force's commitment to using alternate fuels and is the next step in the testing and certification process before the fuel can go into widespread use, officials said.

The Air Force has reinvigorated its energy strategy, which is underpinned by supply-side availability and demand-side conservation, Air Force Assistant Secretary Bill Anderson said. "The Air Force is moving forward in its commitment to certify alternative sources of fuel for both its aircraft and ground vehicles fleet," Anderson said.

Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, Air Force Flight Test commander, is flying the aircraft to assess how well the aircraft performs using the synthetic blend of fuel.

The next test phase for the B-52 will be cold weather testing to determine how well the synfuel-blend performs in extreme weather conditions.

(From an Air Force news release.)

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