In an age of expensive petrol and attempts to reduce carbon emissions, it seems that even the US Air Force.has to now do something. According to an article in the New York Times, an F-16 lights up its afterburners, it consumes nearly 28 gallons of fuel per minute. No wonder, then, that of all the fuel the United States government uses each year, the Air Force accounts for more than half. The Air Force may not be in any danger of suffering inconveniences from scarce or expensive fuel, but it has begun looking for a way to power its jets on something besides conventional fuel. In a series of tests first on engines mounted on blocks and then with B-52’s in flight the Air Force will try to prove that the American military can fly its aircraft by blending traditional crude-oil-based jet fuel with a synthetic liquid made first from natural gas and, eventually, from coal, which is plentiful and cheaper. While the military has been a leader in adopting some technologies light but strong metals, radar-evading stealth designs and fire-retardant flight suits, for example any effort to hit a miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency rating has taken a back seat when the mission is to haul bombs farther and faster or push 70-ton tanks across a desert to topple an adversary.” Learn more in the New York Times.

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