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Blue Angels to Soar on Biofuel During Labor Day Weekend Air Show

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110901-04
9/1/2011

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Johnson, Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is slated to perform their flight demonstration with every aircraft powered by a biofuel blend at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River Air Expo Sept. 2-4.

The Blue Angels Labor Day weekend performance will be yet another visible demonstration of the Department of the Navy's commitment to reducing fossil fuel use without compromising capability. All six F/A-18 legacy Hornets will be powered by a 50/50 blend of conventional JP-5 jet fuel and a camelina-based biofuel.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, said the Navy and Marine Corps' use of alternative energy sources addresses critical vulnerabilities and ultimately serves to improve our warfighting capability, while also increasing our energy efficiency and helping lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.

"Changing the kinds of fuels we use and the way we use them is critical to assuring the Navy and Marine Corps remain the most formidable expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known," said Mabus. "The Department of the Navy will be taking another visible step toward testing biofuel in our aircraft when all six of the Blue Angels perform using the same 50/50 blend of drop-in biofuel we've used in so many of our other aircraft. This will be the first time an entire unit has flown on a biofuel mix."

The Blue Angels travel the country demonstrating the capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps using aerial combat maneuvers.

"As public representatives of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the Blue Angels take pride in leading the country's efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase our energy security," said Capt. Greg McWherter, Blue Angels commanding officer/flight leader.

One objective in successfully testing alternative energy sources is to ensure there is no difference in performance between the biofuel blend and standard petroleum-based JP-5. McWherter, who flew a legacy F/A-18 test flight Aug. 17, said there were no noticeable differences from the cockpit.

The Labor Day performance is the ultimate demonstration to date of the Department of the Navy's commitment to reducing dependence on foreign oil, as well as safeguarding our environment through the incorporation cleaner, more sustainable and renewable energy sources..

This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Mabus' energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.



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