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23 Sep 11. USAF adopts wait-and-see approach on biofuels. The US Air Force (USAF) – the largest consumer of energy in the federal government at a cost of USD8 billion-USD9 billion this year – is taking a wait-and-see approach to alternative transportation fuels, in contrast to the US Navy, which is doggedly pursuing development of a domestic biofuels industry. In remarks to the legislative information division of the National Defense Industrial Association on 15 September, Undersecretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Erin Conaton made clear that the service would buy biofuels and synthetic fuels when they are offered at competitive prices. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
03 Oct 11. The Navy has reached a milestone in the quest to gain energy independence with the first unmanned biofueled flight of an MQ-8B Fire Scout at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Md. The unmanned helicopter was fueled with a combination of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina. The MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provides critical situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeting data to the forward deployed warfighter. Fire Scout is designed to operate from all air capable ships and is currently providing ISR support during its first-land based deployment in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (Source: AUVSI)