Defence News, Nation, (New Delhi), May 25:-In a significant move, the fleet of AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force was on Friday certified to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to 10 per cent bio-jet fuel.
The approval for use of bio-fuel to fly the Russian made fleet was given by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), officials said.
“IAF’s formidable workhorse, the Russian made AN-32 aircraft was formally fleet certified to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to 10 per cent of indigenous bio-jet fuel,” IAF spokesperson Group Capt Anupam Banerjee said.
The IAF undertook a series of evaluation tests and trials using the green aviation fuel for the last one year.
“The scope of these checks was in consonance with the international aviation standards. Today’s approval is an acknowledgement of the meticulous testing using the indigenous bio-jet fuel by the IAF,” Banerjee said.
The use of bio-fuel for military aircraft was cleared for use by IAF after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials.
The indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced by the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun in 2013, but it could not be tested or certified for commercial use on aircraft due to lack of test facilities in the civil aviation sector.
On 27 July, 2018, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had formally announced IAF’s intention to permit the use of all its resources for testing and certifying the indigenous fuel.
Since then, IAF’s flight test crew and engineers have been evaluating the performance of this fuel against international standards.
IAF officials said the bio-fuel, to be used by AN-32 fleet, would be produced from tree borne oils (TBOs) sourced from tribal areas.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)