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Air Force to Test Synthetic Fuel on B-52 Aircraft
A B-52 powered by a mix of synthetic and JP-8 fuel is slated to take its
historic first flight Sept. 19 from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
U.S. Air Force Press Release

WASHINGTON, Sept 12, 2006 – A B-52 powered by a mix of synthetic and JP-8 fuel is slated to take its historic first flight Sept. 19 from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., bringing the Air Force one step closer to reducing its dependence on foreign fuel.

"This is an extremely important moment for the Department of Defense," said Michael A. Aimone, the Air Force's assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support.

"Our goal is to by 2016 have 50 percent of our aviation fuel coming from alternative fuel sources," he emphasized.

As the Defense Department's largest consumer of aviation fuel, the Air Force has taken the lead in the research of alternative fuel sources such as coal and biomass. The Air Force consumes 58% of all aviation fuels consumed by the services.

According to Aimone, energy is both an economic and national security issue, which is why the Air Force has developed a comprehensive energy strategy.

"The Air Force is conducting a flight test using a B-52 powered by synthetic JP-8 to demonstrate our commitment to the President's vision of becoming less dependent on foreign oil," Aimone said.

"We're working to certify the fuel for military aviation use," he said, adding, " we must do that in a visible and transparent way so that our partners in the commercial aviation industry will be able to see our testing.”

“By working together we can expand the market for synthetic jet fuel and make it more economical to produce by increasing volume," Aimone noted.

To further demonstrate the Air Force's commitment to energy independence, the Secretary of the Air Force has stated an interest in acquiring 100 million gallons of synthetic fuel by 2008.

The flight test at Edwards Air Force Base will include briefings by the base commander, Maj. Gen C.M. Bedke, and William Harrison, senior advisor on the Office of the Secretary of Defense Assured Fuels Initiative, on the demonstration flight schedule and the synthetic fuel development process, as well as tours of the B-52 and the control center.

Media interested in covering the test flight at Edwards Air Force Base should submit their name and contact information to the Air Force Flight Test Center Public Affairs office at or call Maj. Morshe Araujo at 703-571-2781.
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