Navy’s Osprey completes successful biofuel test flight

The Navy and Marine Corps team reached another milestone toward achieving the Secretary of the Navy’s energy goals by successfully flying a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey on biofuel Aug. 10, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

“This is the first Marine Corps and tilt rotor aircraft to fly on biofuels,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. “This brings us one step closer to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and becoming more energy secure and independent.”

The “Blackjacks” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 flew the Osprey tilt rotor aircraft at altitudes of up to 25,000 feet on a 50/50 blend of camelina based and standard petroleum based JP-5 (aviation) fuel. The camelina sativa plant is a U.S. grown, non-food feedstock plant.

The MV-22 is a multi-mission aircraft, flown by the Marine Corps, and combines the functionality of a helicopter with the long range and high speed of a turboprop aircraft.

“The MV-22 testing builds upon our successful test flights of the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, F/A-18 C/D legacy Hornet, MH-60S Seahawk as well as extensive testing in the Navy’s Patuxent River fuels lab in demonstrating that Navy and Marine Corps aircraft can safely operate on fuel produced from renewable sources,” said Rick Kamin, the Navy Fuels lead.

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