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India’s air force trials biojet fuel

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) flew a military aircraft with blended biofuel for the first time, The Times of India reports.

The Russian-sourced AN-32 transport plane was flight-tested with a 10% biojet fuel, created using Jatropha oil, in a sortie flown from the Chandigarh base.

“The project to flight-test the bio-jet fuel, with experiment test pilots and engineers from IAF’s premier testing establishment ASTE, is a combined effort of IAF, DRDO, directorate general aeronautical quality assurance (DGAQA) and CSIR-Indian institute of petroleum,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee told The Times of India.

“The IAF had earlier carried out extensive engine tests on the ground. This is now being followed by flight trials using the 10 per cent bio-jet blended aviation turbine fuel (ATF). The Jatropha oil has been sourced from the Chhattisgarh biodiesel development authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun.”

According to the report, the IAF plans to fly the AN-32 using the biojet fuel during the Republic Day fly-past on January 26 2019.

If the project succeeds, the IAF expects to gradually begin implementing the biofuel for fighter jets such as the Su-30MKI and the MiG-29.