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Aero India 2023

Boeing, RNLAF achieve aviation milestone

Boeing Team Helps Royal Netherlands Air Force Achieve Aviation Milestone. A Boeing photo

GILZE-RIJEN AIRBASE, NETHERLANDS (BNS): Boeing and the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) have made aviation history when a Boeing AH-64D Apache became the first rotorcraft in the world to fly using a blend of sustainable bio-kerosene and standard aviation jet fuel.

The 20-minute flight was conducted at Gilze-Rijen Airbase, home of the RNLAF's combat rotorcraft squadrons, Boeing said.

The sustainable biofuel used in the flight was produced using algae-based biomass and used cooking oil, and processed by UOP, LLC, a Honeywell company, into a Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (Bio-SPK), which has been used in previous commercial biofuel flights.

In a series of preflight tests, the 50/50 bio-kerosene and traditional jet fuel blend met or exceeded the JP-8 fuel specifications for the Apache. No engine or airframe modifications were made prior to flight, the company said.

"Today is an important milestone for the more intensive usage of sustainable bio-kerosene in aviation," said Eimert van Middelkoop, Minister of Defense of the Netherlands.

The RNLAF biofuel flight test program encompasses seven flights that will highlight the technical feasibility of flying rotorcraft using renewable fuels that do not reduce the availability of food crops or water.

The Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands, which authorized the flight test program, has publicly stated its commitment to minimizing its environmental footprint of military aircraft.

"This program also will help stimulate market development for aviation biofuel within the Netherlands that can help improve the environmental performance of commercial and military aviation," said Jan Närlinge, president of Boeing Northern Europe.


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