A US Navy T-45 has completed the first flight of the type using biofuel, during a sortie from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, announced on August 25 that the Navy’s alternative energy programme had been further expanded on August 24, when a T-45C Goshawk training aircraft completed a successful biofuel flight at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.
The ‘Salty Dogs’ of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (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 Admiral 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/18E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18D 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 Admiral 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 energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase energy independence and help lead the US toward a clean energy economy.