The U.S. Navy has successfully flown a T-45 training aircraft using biofuels at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Patuxent River, Maryland. The flight was completed by the “Salty Dogs” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flying on biofuel mixture of petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel and plant-based camelina. 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 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 is the fifth Navy aircraft to successfully test the biofuel blend. Previous Previous aircraft tested include the F/18 E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18 D, and most recently, the MV-22. The move to biofuels is being driven by 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.”
Additional biofuel test flights are scheduled for later this year.