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Air Force Thunderbirds perform first demonstration with alternative fuel

July 18, 2011

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team became the first Department of Defense aerial performance team to fly on alternative fuel during its performance at the Joint Services Open House, held May 20-22 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Aircraft 5 and 6 flew using Camelina-based hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel. The Air Force is testing and evaluating biomass fuels derived from three different feedstocks: camelina (plant seed oil), beef tallow (animal fat), and waste oils and greases.

To date, the Air Force has tested and certified biofuel as a 50 percent blend with regular jet fuel in the A-10, F-15, C-17, and F-22 aircraft. Fleetwide certification is on track for completion in 2013.

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