Blue Angels to fly on biofuels
A Navy logo on a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet indicates the service's commitment to biofuels.
September 3rd, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Blue Angels to fly on biofuels

When the six F/A-18 Hornets in the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team thrill the crowds at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Air Expo in Maryland this weekend, they'll be soaring on biofuel.

Each of the six Hornets will be powered by a 50/50-blend of jet fuel and camelina-based biofuel, according to a Navy press release.

Camelina is a high-oil flowering plant grown in rotation on land used for wheat and on land too marginal for food production, according to Sustainable Oils, the company providing it to the military. Sustainable Oils says camelina can also reduce carbon emissions by 80% over jet fuel.

The camelina mix has been successfully tested in several military aircraft, including the Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt, F-15 Eagle, F-22 Raptor and C-17 Globemaster, as well as the Navy F/A-18. Two Air Force F-16s from the Thunderbirds demonstration team flew with the mix during a performance in May, the service and Sustainable Fuels said.

"This will be the first time an entire unit has flown on a biofuel mix," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in the Navy release. "Changing the kinds of fuels we use and the way we use them is critical to assuring the Navy and Marine Corps remain the most formidable expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known."

By 2016, the Navy plans to deploy the Great Green Fleet, an aircraft carrier strike group powered entirely by non-fossil fuels, Mabus has said.

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Filed under: Agriculture • Aviation • Environment • Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Bye, bobcat2u.
    Have a good afternoon.

    September 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. leeintulsa

    @detroitfrank: There's a problem with that? Gas is bad to ingest, but for fuel? Hard to beat it.

    Or are we on the same page.. Hard to tell by your post..

    September 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Clovis

    Look this!!! Art, art art http://www.artesclovis.blogspot.com

    September 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @Ruffie:

    You are no help at all! LMAO!

    September 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RUFFNUTT ( elf slayer & deutrium farmer )

    one of the big problems with bio=-fuel is it breaks down..
    .
    it's ok on a daily drive.. but like my dads 87 buick gran national, he put gas in it and let it sit.. well it gummed up the fuel pump and fuel injectors... and now the tank is rusty.. this car only has 6800 miles on it...
    .
    if it would have had real gasoline in it instead of the ethonol blend he might have been ok..
    .
    i realize that he should have started it every now and then..
    .
    but as evidense my firebird sat from 1981–>1998 untouched and the gas was still alright.. it wasnt gelled up or smelling like varnish...

    September 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Drakorex1

    oh now they are back it was banasy her big fat head was blocking it!!

    September 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. botanylady

    Great news! This and other new technologies will transform the world. How many know that the oil giant Exxon-Mobil has invested over 6 million $$ in the use of algae as a biofuel alternative? They now have a research facility and greenhouse in La Jolla, California. It turns out that certain algae strains are very efficient at producing oil. It can produce 10x more biofuel/acre than corn and not affect food supply. It can be grown anywhere. Salt water or brackish water can be used so fresh water is not an issue. Finally, instead of producing CO2 (major greenhouse gas) it consumes CO2 as it grows and produces oxygen as a by-product.

    September 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goose

      They're not the only ones. Also Shell, The Rockefeller family(!), Bill Gates, and Richard Branson.

      September 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT ( elf slayer & deutrium farmer )

      just a matter of time before the oil company hit men get them and they have heart attacks or accidents..

      September 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lucerot

    Go Navy!

    September 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. snow393

    it sound s good if it would save money and our lives

    September 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. leeintulsa

    How many know exxon never paid the fines levied against them for the valdez? And by reinvesting the money they should have paid, they could pay it twice?

    Look it up. Probably 500 bil we could use right now.

    September 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. snow393

    the thing about ethenol is it eats up your seals and rubber gaskets Has anybody heard about that problem ???

    September 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT ( elf slayer & deutrium farmer )

      yep... it is very damaging to cars... esp old ones..

      September 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    No, you freaking troll, if I had that power you wouldn't be able to post at all.

    September 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RUFFNUTT ( elf slayer & deutrium farmer )

    i wish they would just invent "mr.fusion" like in back to the future..
    .
    we could just use electricity then...

    September 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fordman

    my truck runs alot better with number 2 diesel it would seem but they blend it and water it down and they can make even more money off of us!!!

    September 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Coug9

    Biofuels are feasible only because the government subsidizes them.............which makes no sense. That does NOT make them cheaper! Nor does it make them "Green". Dont forget.........it takes machinery (fueled with fossil fuels!!!) to harvest the Camelina. Not saying we shouldn't develop alternative fuels, but we need to make them sensible and we need to stop deceiving people into thinking this is "Green."

    September 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • botanylady

      Acc. to CNN – May 2011 Rebublicans defeated a Democratic proposal to strip major oil companies of about 20 billion $$ in tax credits over the next 10 years. $$ would be used to pay down the deficit. Republicans oppossed the measure even though oil companies are making record profits. The biofuel industry is still in it's infancy and gaining R & D and need the extra boost now to really get it off the ground. We did it for oil for many, many years. Watch the great DVD – FUEL or Environmental Tech from History Channel- Modern Marvels. We need to become energy independent now!

      September 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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