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GREEN ISSUES

GREEN ISSUES

20 Mar 08. A B-1B Lancer from the 9th Bomb Squadron here became the first Air Force aircraft to fly at supersonic speed using an alternate fuel March 19 in a flight over Texas and New Mexico. The fuel, a 50/50 blend of synthetic and petroleum gases, is being tested as part of an ongoing Air Force program to help the environment and to use a fuel produced domestically. Air Force officials are in the process of evaluating and certifying this alternative fuel, which is derived from natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process, for use in all Air Force aircraft. Air Force officials previously have tested the fuel blend in the B-52 Stratofortress, the first aircraft to use the fuel, and the C-17 Globemaster III. The supersonic flight by the B-1B occurred over the White Sands Missile Range airspace in south-central New Mexico, but the flight took off from Dyess AFB. Within the federal government, the Air Force is the single largest user of aviation fuel, using an estimated 3 billion gallons per year. Each time the price of oil goes up $10 per barrel, it costs the Air Force an additional $600m for fuel. The FT process gives the Air Force a cleaner, more cost-efficient fuel source. (Source: ASD Network)

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