AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“We will look at a flight of the B-52 using all engines on a blend of synthetic fuel and then onto other engines and aircraft in our fleet,” Sega said. “We want to make sure that if we if use it as an option that we do the proper testing and certification for our aircraft fleet.” The Edwards flight-test work is part of a Pentagon effort, started in 2001, called the Assured Fuel Initiative. The idea is to ensure an energy supply regardless of uncertainty in oil-producing countries or problems spurred by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina’s damage last year to Gulf Coast oil refineries. The Air Force alone consumes 3.2billion gallons of fuel annually, accounting for about 80percent of the federal government’s fuel usage. The Air Force wants to have half of its aviation fuel supply coming from alternative fuel sources by 2016. Engineers expect the Fischer-Tropsch fuel – named for the two German researchers who developed the process – will have the same performance as regular jet fuel but with less pollution because it contains less sulfur than regular fuels. The fuel the B-52 is using is being produced by an Oklahoma company called Syntroleum Corp., which has a plant that produces 70 barrels a day of Fischer-Tropsch fuels. Although the Air Force conducted the flight test with a fuel derived from natural gas, Syntroleum officials say they think the fuel can also be produced from coal – of which the United States has tremendous amounts. In addition to military applications, successful testing of the fuel could lead to opportunities with commercial airlines, program officials said. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – The Air Force successfully flew a B-52 bomber Tuesday with a synthetic fuel made from natural gas, as part of a program aimed at lessening the military’s dependence on foreign oil. The bomber used a 50-50 blend of synthetic fuel feeding two of its eight engines, with the other engines running on conventional jet fuel as a safety measure. At least two more test flights with the fuel are planned. If the tests indicate the fuel is viable, additional testing will be done, said Ronald Sega, undersecretary of the Air Force.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Bowing to the inevitable after an improbably resilient run for the White House, Rick Santorum quit the presidential race on Tuesday, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination.“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” he said.Santorum, appearing with his family, told supporters that the battle to defeat President Barack Obama would go on but he pointedly made no mention or endorsement of Romney, whom he had derided as an unworthy standard-bearer for the GOP.The former Pennsylvania senator stressed that he’d taken his presidential bid farther than anyone expected, calling his campaign “as improbable as any race that you will ever see for president.”“Against all odds,” he said, “we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes.”Santorum signaled his intention of maintaining a voice in the campaign to come, saying: “This game is a long, long, long way from over. We will continue to go out and fight and defeat President Barack Obama.”