As the US Air Force enters its second year of synthetic fuel testing, Goodrich has signed on to evaluate the effects of using alternate fuels in the fuel measurement and management systems it supplies for USAF aircraft.
Goodrich's contract, from Universal Technology, runs until November, when research and testing should be completed on the entire fuel systems of the Boeing F-15 Eagle and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters. Follow-on work is expected to include more than a dozen other aircraft models as diverse as the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II fighter, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, says Goodrich.
The tests by Goodrich's Sensors and Integrated Systems team in Vergennes, Vermont will use synthetic fuel converted from coal last year by Shell, as well as fuels converted from plant and animal oils and other sources. The tests determine if any modifications are needed within the fuel management systems.
The air force intends to certificate its entire fleet to run on fuels from the Fischer-Tropsch process by 2011, and to meet half its domestic fuel needs with synthetic fuels by 2016.
In August, the Boeing B-52H became the first type to be certificated to fly on the fuel made from natural gas, with the Boeing C-17 following in December. In August the F-15, F-22 and Boeing KC-135 underwent ground and flight tests at Arnold AFB in Tennessee to be certificated for flight with synthetic fuels.