Thursday 17 March 2022

RAF completes synthetic fuel trial with drones

RAF completes synthetic fuel trial with drones

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has completed its first drone flight with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Project Vermeer uses synthetic kerosene, made from sugars, food waste and bacteria, to power the aircraft.

The RAF claims the fuel is completely fossil fuel-free and that heavy infrastructure is not required to make it.

This form of SAF can be used across all remotely piloted air systems in the Air Force to cut its carbon footprint.

C3 Biotechnologies and the US Navy collaborated with the RAF to create 15 litres of the fuel for testing.

The drone completed a 20-minute test flight in Wiltshire using the synthetic kerosene.

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin, said: “This is an exciting moment for the RAF and British industry as they continue to develop pioneering solutions to help address climate change.

“These new approaches will maintain our world-class fighting forces whilst reducing our carbon footprint.”

On the collaboration, Chief of US Naval Research, Admiral Lorin Selby said: “It is exciting and game-changing to work with our allies in the UK to develop a more efficient synthetic aviation fuel.

“The US Navy is committed to finding innovative solutions to operational challenges and the ability to manufacture this fuel without large infrastructure requirements would be ground-breaking for deployed forces.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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