Engineers test bio-fuel in helicopters

During an April 1 test flight, a UH 60A Black Hawk utilizing an Alcohol to Jet bio-fuel blend performs maneuvers above the Redstone Airfield. (U.S. Army photo)

During an April 1 test flight, a UH 60A Black Hawk utilizing an Alcohol to Jet bio-fuel blend performs maneuvers above the Redstone Airfield. (U.S. Army photo)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 16, 2014) — The Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, in conjunction with the Redstone Test Center, has completed a historic test program demonstrating the effectiveness a bio-fuel commonly referred to as Alcohol to Jet, in two Army aircraft — a UH-60A Black Hawk and a CH-47D Chinook.

Tests were conducted as a part of a congressionally-funded program to determine whether jet fuel made from non-food stock corn could safely power rotary wing aircraft and perform to Army requirements. The effort was part of a broader Department of Defense strategy initiated in 2009 to reduce dependency upon fossil fuels. ATJ-blends provide a renewable alternative to current aviation fuels, and address the Army Energy Security Strategy and Plans mandate that the Army certify 100 percent of its air platforms on alternative/renewable fuels by 2016.

Bio-fuels are made from renewable sources, such as algae, sugar, switch grass, plant oils and wood. Isobutanol is an alcohol-based bio-fuel produced from non-food stock corn.

Read more …