In a previous post I highlighted the fact that the United States Air Force (USAF) had certified a 50/50 blend of Fischer-Tropsch synthetic jet fuel and JP-8 fuel for operational use in all B-52H Stratofortress aircraft. At that time the USAF announced plans to certify the same blended fuel for use in their C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft . On 22 Oct 2007 a C-17 Globemaster III flew using a blend of synthetic and JP-8 fuels in all four fuel tanks as part of that certification process.
This is the first time a C-17 has flown using a synthetic and JP-8 blend as the only fuel on board. The USAF successfully flew a C-17 on 22 Oct 2007 with the synthetic and JP-8 blend in one tank to validate engine performance.
C-17 certification is the next big step by the Air Force to certify synthetic fuel blends for its fleet. The C-17 is the workhorse of the mobility airlift fleet and the biggest user of jet fuel. Fleet-wide certification is planned for the first quarter of 2008.