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History in the making

An F-16CG aircraft defrosts on the flightline in the early morning hours at the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, Swanton, Ohio. The 180th Fighter Wing performed a unit training assembly Jan. 7 and 8, 2012 where traditional status guardsmen participate in once monthly training activities such as flying and maintaining these aircraft.(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Beth Holliker/Released)

An F-16CG aircraft defrosts on the flightline in the early morning hours at the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, Swanton, Ohio. The 180th Fighter Wing performed a unit training assembly Jan. 7 and 8, 2012 where traditional status guardsmen participate in once monthly training activities such as flying and maintaining these aircraft.(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Beth Holliker/Released)

Swanton, Ohio -- What do you get when you combine renewable bio-fuel with conventional aircraft fuel sources? History in the making!

As the men and women of the 180th Fighter Wing continue leaning forward in the seamless integration of renewable energy sources at the operational level, they are also writing the pages for the history books of the Ohio Air National Guard.

The latest history in the making is the ongoing testing of bio-fuels which began Jan. 10. Since the testing began here at the 180th, the two F-16 fighter jets designated to test the eco-friendly fuel have flown a total of 39 flights, performed 11 refueling missions and has used 59,578 gallons of the 100,000 gallons of bio-fuel planned for this phase of testing.

The 180th added another line to the history books Feb. 12, when two of the wing's F-16s successfully transitioned from bio-fuel to the traditional JP-8 jet engine fuel then back to bio-fuel during a 12 aircraft Large Force Employment training mission.

The two aircraft participating in the bio-fuel testing took off from the 180th Fighter Wing fueled solely with the renewable fuel. As part of the approximately two hour training mission, the jets were required to perform aerial refueling maneuvers and top off their tanks by connecting to a KC-135 Stratotanker filled with conventional JP-8 jet fuel. After refueling was completed, the jets continued on with the training mission before landing back at the 180th to be refueled again, with bio-fuel.

This continued successful demonstration of sustainable fuel sources in the operational environment has provided lucrative results, proving that this bio-fuel blend is a viable option for the Air Force, which plans to certify the use of bio-fuels in more than 40 aircraft models by 2016.

For more information on the 180th's bio-fuel testing cisit: http://www.180fw.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123286118
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