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Tue, Oct 04, 2011

Fire Scout Completes 1st Navy Unmanned Flight On Biofuel

VTOL UAS Becomes The Seventh Navy Aircraft To Demonstrate Biofuel Compatibility

The Navy has successfully flown its first unmanned biofuel flight with an MQ-8B Fire Scout. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, MD piloted the helicopter fueled with a combination of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina. The biofuel blend reduces carbon dioxide output by 75 percent when compared to conventional aviation fuel.

Navy Photo

Rear Adm. Bill Shannon, program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, said the flight "marks a significant milestone with Fire Scout being the Navy's first unmanned aircraft to use biofuel technology. I am very pleased we can add MQ-8B to the list of successful bioflights completed at Pax River this year, bringing us one step closer to achieving the Navy's energy goals."

The MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provides critical situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeting data to the forward deployed warfighter. Fire Scout is designed to operate from all air capable ships and is currently providing ISR support during its first-land based deployment in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Fire Scout is the seventh aircraft to demonstrate the versatility of biofuel through its use in all facets of naval aviation. The completion of aircraft biofuel testing at Pax River is another example of the Navy's determination in achieving its goal of launching the "Great Green Fleet."

This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary Ray 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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