Attacking Alternative Energy

The Air Force’s focus on reducing energy consumption currently includes use of renewable energy methods at 37 of its 80 or so major installations, according to Kevin Billings, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety, and occupational health. Billings told attendees Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference that the service is “taking a look at every facility within the Air Force” to find ways to reduce the service’s dependence on energy. He said the Air Force Research Lab is exploring the energy conservation potential for different engine configurations and continues to pursue the use of synthetic fuel to power aircraft. Just last month, USAF declared synfuel use OK for operational B-52 bombers and has embarked on testing its use on the C-17 airlifter. The goal, he said, is to have a 50/50 blend of JP-8 jet fuel and synthetic fuel for use by USAF aircraft by 2016.