|Syntroleum Fischer-Tropsch technology is indifferent to the source of the syngas. Click to enlarge. Source: Syntroleum.|
A B-52 Stratofortress successfully completed a test flight on 15 December using a blend of Gas-to-Liquids fuels and conventional JP-8 in all eight engines. This is the first time a B-52 has flown using a synfuel blend as the only fuel on board.
In September, the Air Force successfully flew a B-52 with two engines using the synfuel-blend—using GTL fuel supplied by Syntroleum—while the others used standard fuel. (Earlier post.)
The test flight further demonstrated 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, according to Air Force officials.
According to William Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, the Air Force has reinvigorated its energy strategy which is underpinned by supply-side availability and demand-side conservation.
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.