Monday, May 21, 2012

Who's in the pocket of Big Oil? - US warplanes can fly faster, carry additional weapons load using advanced fuels and biofuels

Storm breaks out between US military leaders and House Republicans.

Can the US afford to deploy fuels with advanced war fighting capabilities? Republicans say, for now, "no".

WASHINGTON, DC — May 21 — New tests conducted at at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have revealed that US warplanes are capable of flying faster and carry more payload on missions, when flying with synthetic fuels, including biofuels, compared to conventional military jet fuels made from petroleum.

The increased performance of biofuels could allow, for example, a fully loaded F/A-18 SuperHornet supersonic fighter to carry one additional missile during military operations.

According to Air Force special advisor on energy and fuels, Omar Mendoza, the Pentagon has authorized additional testing with General Electric, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt & Whitney to confirm the findings from the Air Force Research Laboratory, based at Wright Patterson AFB, near Dayton, Ohio.

Mendoza added that, if the results seen at the extensive Wright-Patterson engine testing labs are confirmed, outcomes could include consideration of next generation engines that can take full operational advantage of the breakthrough in warplane performance.

House bill to prevent use of high performance fuels

The revelation of the test results comes less than one week after the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the 2013 Defense appropriation bill that would prevent US armed forces from purchasing high performance biofuels for military operations, unless they cost less than conventional fossil fuels.

Passage of the bill, which is now moving towards consideration by the full House, raises the possibility that US military pilots could be forced, during periods of low prices for conventional fossil fuels, to carry one less missile, fly slower or be restricted in range, during operational missions.


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