IAF successfully flies biofuel-powered military aircraft

On 17 December 2018, Experimental Test Pilots and Test Engineer from Indian Air Force’s premier testing establishment ASTE, flew India’s first military flight using blended bio-jet fuel on the An-32 transport aircraft.

IAF successfully flies biofuel powered military aircraft 001 IAF successfully flown a biofuel-powered An-32 airlifter
(Credit: IAF)

The project is a combined effort of IAF, DRDO, Directorate General Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) and CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum.

"This fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) & then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun. IAF intends to fly An-32 aircraft using biojet fuel on 26 Jan 2019, in the Republic Day flypast," the IAF said on its Twitter account. 

On 27 July 2018, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of Air Staff had announced IAF’s intention to promote biojet fuels. Addressing the CII-SIDM seminar on promoting indigenised technologies, the CAS had stated that IAF intended to fly the An-32 with 10% biojet fuel on 26 Jan 2019 Republic Day flypast.

Indian Air Force carried out extensive engine tests on the ground. This is now followed by flight trials using 10% biojet blended ATF.