The Air Force is continuing to test whether it can use synthetic fuel to power jet aircraft, taking the test B-52 back to its home base at Minot AFB, N.D., to conduct ground tests in cold weather. Testing begins this week and runs through the beginning of February. In December, the service flew the B-52 with a 50-50 blend of traditional crude-oil based fuel and a Fischer-Tropsch fuel derived from natural gas powering all eight of its jet engines. This cold weather testing is the final step in a testing and certification process intended to help reduce Air Force dependence on imported fuel.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.