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SJAFB to test new synthetic fuel blend

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 26, 2009 1:46 PM

By next month, some of the 4th Fighter Wing's F-15E Strike Eagles will be flying with cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been chosen to assist with a Field Service Evaluation using a 50/50 blend of JP-8 jet fuel and Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene, a study Air Force officials say will help the service achieve its goal of using this synthetic fuel blend in 50 percent of domestic flights by 2016.

Doing so, they say, will decrease American dependence on foreign oil, save millions of dollars and significantly reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with fleet-wide operations.

Members of the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron said their Fuels Management Flight has already worked with the Air Force Petroleum Office in coordinating the first delivery and receipt of 60,000 gallons of SPK to mix with JP-8. But by June -- when the blend is issued to two 4th Strike Eagles -- they expect to have nearly 70,000 more.

But the Air Force has already experienced some success with this particular fuel blend -- in the F-22 Raptor, B-52 Stratofortress, C-17 Globemaster and KC-135 Stratotanker.

And in August 2008, a successful F-15E flight test was performed at Robins Air Force Base. And a Strike Eagle engine was tested using the fuel for nearly 50 hours in a controlled test cell.