The Air Force has flown a B-52 with a blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8 jet fuel powering all eight of the bomber’s engines. In September, the service successfully flew the B-52 with the synfuel-blend in just two engines. This latest test brings USAF “one step closer to allowing a domestic source of synthetic fuel to accomplish the Air Force mission in the future,” stated Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. Faced with rising fuel costs, the service has set a goal to achieve a 50 percent reduction in use of standard aviation fuel by 2016. Next, it plans to test the synfuel in extreme cold weather.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.