F-15 Joins the Club

The Air Force’s F-15 fleet (i.e., F-15C/D Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles) has been cleared to run on the synthetic fuel blend that the service wants all of its aircraft able to operate on unconstrained by 2011. Air Force spokesman Gary Strasburg told the Daily Report Tuesday that the F-15 fleet certification actually occurred quietly on June 16, with no formal announcement made at the time. F-15 flight testing began last August. The F-15 joins the B-1B, B-52H, and C-17 as the platforms now approved to use the fuel blend, which comprises 50 percent JP-8 jet fuel and 50 percent synthetic paraffinic kerosene. SPK is currently derived from natural gas, but it can also be made from coal of which the US has abundant supply. This fuel blend is seen as one means to help lessen US dependence on foreign sources of energy. Strasburg said the Air Force remains on track to certify all of its aircraft types “by early 2011.” Already the C-5, C-130, F-22, KC-135, and T-38 have flown with it in tests.