USA — Boeing Team Supports Upcoming Biofuel-powered Flight of US Navy F/A‑18

ST. LOUIS — Boe­ing [NYSE: BA] is sup­port­ing the U.S. Navy’s bio­fu­el-pow­ered flight, sched­uled to take place on Earth Day, April 22. An unmod­i­fied, Boe­ing-built F/A‑18F Super Hor­net will take off from Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent Riv­er, Md., pow­ered by a sus­tain­able bio­fu­el blend of 50 per­cent cameli­na and 50 per­cent JP‑5 avi­a­tion fuel.

Oper­at­ing Navy plat­forms with renew­able ener­gy sources such as sus­tain­able bio­fu­els is part of the service’s strat­e­gy to reduce reliance on fos­sil fuels by half over the next decade, as well as the Sec­re­tary of the Navy’s broad­er empha­sis on ener­gy-effi­cien­cy efforts for the Navy and Marine Corps.

Boe­ing has been assist­ing the Navy through lab­o­ra­to­ry test­ing of fuel prop­er­ties and engi­neer­ing eval­u­a­tions of fuel sys­tem com­pat­i­bil­i­ty, accord­ing to Tim Vinopal, Boeing’s envi­ron­men­tal chief engi­neer sup­port­ing the Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty effort.

“We have worked close­ly with the avi­a­tion and fuels indus­tries for sev­er­al years to pro­vide our cus­tomers with options to reduce envi­ron­men­tal impact, includ­ing the use of sus­tain­able bio­fu­els,” Vinopal said. “We are hon­ored to be able to sup­port the U.S. Navy in this ground­break­ing renew­able-ener­gy effort.”

Boe­ing bio­fu­el test­ing has includ­ed demon­stra­tion flights of five com­mer­cial air­craft, test­ing of four engine types, and lab­o­ra­to­ry test­ing with var­i­ous fuel proces­sors, feed­stocks, and engine man­u­fac­tur­ers to ensure these fuels meet or exceed the high per­for­mance and qual­i­ty stan­dards spec­i­fied for cur­rent avi­a­tion fuels, with­out mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the engine or air­frame. Cameli­na is one of sev­er­al promis­ing bio­fu­el crops, as it requires lit­tle water or fer­til­iz­er and does not com­pete with food crops.

The com­pa­ny also is help­ing to cre­ate a com­mer­cial mar­ket for renew­able fuels and to guide their approval for use in com­mer­cial avi­a­tion.

“Boe­ing is apply­ing the sig­nif­i­cant knowl­edge we’ve gained dur­ing this sus­tain­able bio­fu­el devel­op­ment effort in sup­port of U.S. Depart­ment of Defense spec­i­fi­ca­tion revi­sions for mil­i­tary fuels,” said Vinopal. “Boe­ing rec­og­nizes the seri­ous chal­lenges fac­ing the glob­al ecosys­tem and is com­mit­ted to improv­ing the envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of its oper­a­tions, prod­ucts and ser­vices.”

A unit of The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is one of the world’s largest defense, space and secu­ri­ty busi­ness­es spe­cial­iz­ing in inno­v­a­tive and capa­bil­i­ties-dri­ven cus­tomer solu­tions, and the world’s largest and most ver­sa­tile man­u­fac­tur­er of mil­i­tary air­craft. Head­quar­tered in St. Louis, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is a $34 bil­lion busi­ness with 68,000 employ­ees world­wide.

Press release
Philip Carder
F/A‑18 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty