First Navy Trainer Completes Biofuel Flight
By Dialogo August 31, 2011
The Navy’s alternative energy program expanded Aug. 24 when a T-45 training aircraft completed a successful biofuel flight at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.
The “Salty Dogs” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flew the high-performance jet trainer on a biofuel mixture of petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel and plant-based camelina. The high oil content of the camelina seed makes it a valuable source of renewable and sustainable energy.
“This successful test flight brings us a step closer to meeting the Navy’s energy security goals,” said Vice Adm. David Architzel, commander, Naval Air Systems Command. “My congratulations to the Navy fuels team here at NAVAIR for playing an instrumental role in proving the viability of biofuels to power naval aircraft.”
The T-45 “Goshawk” is a tandem-seat aircraft used by the Navy and Marine Corps to train pilots on carrier and tactical mission operations.
This is the fifth aircraft successfully tested using biofuel at NAS Patuxent River and showcases the Navy’s commitment to achieve energy independence by reducing the need for foreign oil. Previous aircraft tested include the F/18 E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18 D, and most recently, the MV-22. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ goal is to cut the Navy’s oil usage in half by 2025.
“This test of the T-45 with a 50/50 blend of biofuel represents another significant milestone in the long list of detailed flight test and demonstrations of the F-18 Super Hornet, the MH-60S, and the V-22,” said Rear Adm. Phil Cullom, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. “Our commitment to the aggressive test schedule for drop-in replacement fuels for JP-5 and F-76 keep us on pace for the 2012 demonstration and 2016 deployment of the Great Green Fleet.”
Three additional Navy aircraft are scheduled for biofuel test flights before the end of the year.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus’ energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.