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. Rob

    About time Fat America's love of the french fry paid off!!

    September 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Birr

      Caca doo doo!!!!!

      September 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wha?

      That would be funny except the article says the bio fuel is made from the Camelina high-oil flowering plant. Might want to actually read the article next time you try to be funny.

      September 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/this-empty-front-seat/

    September 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ObamasyC

    I ll make up lies and get reelected

    September 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • drrrrrrrr

      It worked for GW

      September 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @leeintulsa:

    Like I've never heard that song before.... 🙂

    September 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I think you said it best when you said GMTA 🙂 battery dying, lates

      September 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Obanasy©

    Oooooooohhhhh, that really hurts my feelings.
    Boo hoo.

    September 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Birr

      Rrrrrrrrrrrriiiuuuiiicccccccccccoooooiiii

      September 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Birr

    Buuuubbbbaaaaaahhhhhhh

    September 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Birr

    Doo doo daah daah??? Boo boo woo woo gaagaa goo goo!?!?!?

    September 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Spec5

    Great now my airshow,s now gonna smell like a fish fry

    September 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. macaroo

    I hope we don/t lose a 122 million dollar Raptor cause we saved 5 dollars on JP5 jet fuel.

    September 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Yeah, I'm sure the Navy decided not to bother making sure this stuff was up to spec because they're all sort of loosey goosey over there when it comes to their planes.

      September 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The Cube

    100 million dollar aircraft flying on plant oil dropping flowered munitions on the Taliban, what is the world coming to?

    September 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. P

    What's the difference between Obama, Bachmann, Romney, and the falling U.S. dollar?

    ..the dollar was once worth something....

    September 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Cube

      Arguably, unlike the others, it still is, just not nearly as much as before.

      September 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • P

      I hear ya...thank god for that at least

      September 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Apt Pupil

    Well, better to test this stuff on military jets with ejection seats instead of on civilian jetliners with hundreds aboard who have no choice but to ride down on the world's largest gliders should the fuel fail to burn in the combustion chambers. I heard these biofules can be prone to freezing up in the sub-zero temperatures of 35,000 feet where jetliners cruise. I just flew across the Atlantic, Amsterdam to Washington/ Dulles on a KLM A330. I asked myself a couple of times: "What would happen if we lost both engines?" Hmmmmm...

    September 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. outawork

    Green warplanes. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

    September 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sharp

    Good strategic research. If another great war breaks out there won't be any imported oil. That makes experiments in alternative & synthetic fuels essential to our national defense.

    September 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      You can still import oil from Canada!

      September 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      except it costs 37 dollars a gallon... no mention of that here

      September 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I could wage a green war if I wanted to do that.
    I'd just use several different cans for trash.

    September 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
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