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B-52 flight uses synthetic fuel in all eight engines

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFPN) -- A B-52 Stratofortress took off Dec. 15 on a flight-test mission using a blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8 in all eight engines. This is the first time a B-52 has flown using a synfuel blend as the only fuel on board. In September, the Air Force successfully flew a B-52 with two-engines using the synfuel-blend while the others used standard fuel.

"The B-52 test flights at Edwards Air Force Base are the initial steps in the Air Force process to test and certify a synthetic blend of fuel for its aviation fleet," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne. "We are confident that the success of this flight will bring us one step closer to allowing a domestic source of synthetic fuel to accomplish the Air Force mission in the future."

The first B-52 flight using Fischer-Tropsch fuel occurred Sept. 19 at Edwards.

Today's flight further demonstrates the Air Force's commitment to using alternate fuels and is the next step in the testing and certification process before the fuel can go into widespread use, officials said.

According to William Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, the Air Force has reinvigorated its energy strategy which is underpinned by supply-side availability and semand-side conservation.

"The Air Force is moving forward in its commitment to certify alternative sources of fuel for both its aircraft and ground vehicles fleet," said Mr. Anderson.

Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, Air Force Flight Test commander, is flying the aircraft to assess how well the aircraft performs using the synthetic blend of fuel.

The next test phase for the B-52 will be cold-weather testing to determine how well the synfuel-blend performs in extreme weather conditions.

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