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Fire Scout UAV makes first biofuel-powered flight


October 2, 2011

The US Navy has successfully flown its MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV on a blend of JP-5 aviation fu...

The US Navy has successfully flown its MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV on a blend of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina

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The US Navy has successfully flown its MQ-8B Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) on biofuel. The unmanned helicopter became the Navy's first UAV to use biofuel technology when it took-off on Friday over Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland, running on a blend of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina. The Navy says that the use of this blend cuts carbon dioxide output by 75 percent when compared to conventional aviation fuel.

"Today's flight marks a significant milestone with Fire Scout being the Navy's first unmanned aircraft to use biofuel technology," said Rear Adm. Bill Shannon, program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.

The Fire Scout flight is part of a broader push by the Navy towards increasing energy independence and clean energy economy. In total seven aircraft have been tested using biofuels including the supersonic F/A-18 Super Hornet.

"I am very pleased we can add MQ-8B to the list of successful bioflights completed at Pax River this year, bringing us one step closer to achieving the Navy's energy goals."

Designed to operate from all air capable ships, the autonomous take off and landing capabilities of the Northrop Grumman-manufactured Fire Scout are already in use at sea and the system is currently providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in its first-land based deployment.

The video below shows the Fire Scout's first biofuel flight.

Source: US Navy


Flying on Biofuel once for a trial does not make the navy more 'green' because they do not fly any aircraft permanently on biofuel.

2nd October, 2011 @ 11:38 pm PDT

Great news for the environment. Will the missiles with nuke warheads be powered with bio-rocket fuel?

Guy Macher
3rd October, 2011 @ 04:49 am PDT

biofuel is not that green because to have it we are destroing many habitats. This is not good if we think to have planes that need so much biofuel...we just can cry for our planet.

Iosif Eugen Olimpiu
3rd October, 2011 @ 12:20 pm PDT

Biodiesel can be snythesized from algae, which can be grown on land unsuited for food agriculture. It can be very green.

William H Lanteigne
3rd October, 2011 @ 07:16 pm PDT
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