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PICTURE: USAF flies F-22 using synthetic fuel mix

The US Air Force has for the first time flown its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter using a 50:50 blend of standard JP-8 aviation fuel and a natural gas-based synthetic fuel developed using the Fischer-Tropsch Process.

During a 28 August test flight, an F-22 from the USAF's 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, California received the traditional/synthetic fuel mix from a Boeing KC-135 tanker.

The USAF intends to certificate its entire fleet of aircraft to operate using the 50:50 fuel mix by early 2011.

 F-22-synthetic-fuel.
 © USAF

Previous types to have achieved this goal or demonstrated the capability include its Boeing B-1B and B-52 bombers and C-17 transports. Under air force plans, work to flight test the synthetic fuel blend using the F-22 will conclude later this year.

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