New fuel takes C-17 cross country

  • Published
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
On Dec. 17, a blended aircrew from McChord's 62nd Airlift Wing and the 446th Airlift Wing flew a C-17 Globemaster III to McGuire AFB, N.J. on a 50/50 blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8, traditional jet fuel. 

Eight Reservists were on the flight, including a pilot, loadmaster, and aeromedical evacuation nurses and technicians. 

The transcontinental flight operationally demonstrates the fuel blend the Air Force hopes to one day use in all its aircraft and ground vehicles. 

"The Air Force is taking a leadership role in testing and certifying the use of synthetic fuel in aircraft," Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne said in a press conference at McGuire shortly before the historic flight landed. 

"We're working very closely with our Army and Navy colleagues to ensure that this fuel is capable of operating in all of our aircraft," he added. "This is especially important because JP-8 military jet fuel is commonly used on the battlefield by the Army's and Marines' tactical vehicles and generators, as well as our respective aircraft." 

Certification of the synthetic fuel blend in the service's C-17 fleet - which uses the Pratt and Whitney F117-100 engine - is expected in early 2008. The F117-100 engine is also widely used by the commercial airline industry on aircraft such as the Boeing 757. (Complied by 62nd AW and 446th AW Public Affairs)