Air Force took off India’s first bio-jet fuel blended military flight

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Chandigarh: In what could be a major technological upliftment for the Indian Air Force, a team from the Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) premier testing establishment, flew India’s first military flight using blended bio-jet fuel on Russian-made An-32 transport aircraft in Chandigarh on Monday.

The aircraft was flown by experimental test pilots and test engineers from ASTE. The project is a combined effort of IAF, Defence Research, and Development Organisation (DRDO), Directorate General Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) and CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum.

The IAF carried out extensive engine tests of the sortie on the ground. This was followed by flight trials using 10 per cent bio-jet blended ATF. The fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chhattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun.

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In July, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had announced IAF’s intention to promote bio-jet fuels. Addressing the CII-SIDM seminar on promoting indigenised technologies, the Air Chief Marshal had stated that IAF was keen to fly the AN-32 aircraft with 10% bio-jet fuel in the Republic Day flypast on January 26 next year.

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