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USAF C-17 Makes First Transcontinental Flight on 50-50 Synfuel Blend

A US Air Force C-17 has completed the first transcontinental flight of an aircraft using a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel.

The C-17 Globemaster III lifted off shortly before dawn at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and arrived in the early afternoon at McGuire AFB, N.J., where it was greeted by Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, New Jersey Rep. Jim Saxton, and a number of officials from both the airline and energy industries.

The flight follows successful tests of the fuel blend in C-17 engines in October, and is the next step in the Air Force’s effort to have its entire C-17 fleet certified to use the mixture. Air Force officials certified B-52 Stratotankers to use the mixture in August, and hope to certify the fuel blend for use in all its aircraft within the next five years.



Congrats to our brave USAF flyers! Now stop making aviation fuel from coal or natural gas [didn't the germans do this in the early '40s during the war?] and use a renewable resource such as Canola oil. I run my Vdub on canola bd blended with petro diesel and the canola is superior for cold weather.


I don't think canola oil will work as jet fuel, Nick. It'd just turn solid at altitude and doesn't have the right energy density or combustion qualities.


One tiny step closer to oil independence.

TDI Nick: The problem with canola oil (besides what Cervus has pointed out) or any other vegetable oil based-solution is availability. It's not like we have millions of gallons of veg. oil sitting about; it already has a market and is being put to use. If we wanted to grow it specifically for fuel we would:

A: have to use crop lands we already have, replacing some other product.

B: convert more land for use (which has it's own problems).

The best source of fuel is one that is already plentiful, and really has no other value other than as fuel.


Cervus: for canola I'm refering to high quality biofuel made from the veg oil with the proper winterization additives. There was a test flight of a jet running only on bio fuel and they had no problems (warm climate). Virgin air and Boeing are very interested.

Tthoms: The canola oil I use in the TDI is grown in Western Canada and then made into fuel by Imperium which is in the PNW. It's then blended into biodiesel and works great for all diesel engines. The biodiesel is a waste product with the canola mash going for animal feed. Imperium would much rather switch to algae based oil but that is not available yet. Petro oil is better for use making plastics. I'm a true believer (not tree hugger) in making America more energy independant thru conservation and biodiesel-bioheat-biofuel. I'm not keen on e85 but the market should decide that one.

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