Alternative aircraft fuel

Goodrich Corporation has received a contract from Universal Technology Corporation to evaluate the effects of using alternate fuels in Goodrich fuel measurement and management systems on US Air Force aircraft.



The contract is in support of the US Air Force Alternative Fuels Certification Office’s programme to certify all air force aircraft for suitability of operation on synthetic fuels and blends. Work is being performed by Goodrich’s Sensors and Integrated Systems team in Vergennes, Vermont.



The initial contract, which runs through November 2008, covers analytical research and testing of the entire fuel system design for F-15 Eagle and F-22 Raptor fighters. Follow-on work is expected to include more than a dozen other aircraft including the F-35 Lightning II fighter, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor.



Goodrich engineers will evaluate the impact on the fuel measuring and other aircraft systems of not only coal-based synthetic kerosene, but also plant/animal oils and other fuels, either alone or blended with JP8 jet fuel.



As synthetic fuels and blends differ from JP8 in density and amount of energy produced per unit weight/volume, the evaluation is necessary to assure accuracy in flying range, limits of operation, durability and compatibility for each aircraft system. These tests will be instrumental in determining what, if any, modifications need to be made to the fuel management system to assure that the system performs within specified limits.



Jan Mathiesen, vice-president at Goodrich Sensors and Integrated Systems, said: ‘This work is of strategic significance to our Air Force customers in reducing their dependence on foreign oil while operating safely.


‘Alternate fuels have the added benefit of reduced particulate emissions as well as the ability to start easily in cold temperatures at high altitudes, especially important for high-performance military aircraft.’