The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., recently completed a series of flight tests to see how well a C-17 transport would operate with a different combination of traditional and alternative fuels. Specifically, the aircraft flew late last month with a blend of 50 percent traditional JP-8 jet fuel, 25 percent hydrotreated renewable jet fuel, and 25 percent synthetic paraffinic kerosene, according to an Edwards release. The Air Force has committed to certifying its entire fleet of aircraft to run on a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and SPK by next year. SPK is derived from natural gas under the Fischer-Tropsch distillation process. There is also the potential to derive SPK from coal. More recently, USAF has been testing with the HRJ fuel, which comes from biomass, such as the oil of the camelina seed. (See also Staying on the Alternative Track from the Daily Report archives.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.