Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Rotorcraft Report: Goodrich Goes Green
Universal Technology Corp contracted the Goodrich Corp to evaluate effects of using alternative and synthetic fuels and blends in its fuel measurement and management systems on U.S. Air Force aircraft.
The initial contract runs through November and covers research and testing of the entire fuel systems designed for the F-15 Eagle and the F-22 Raptor. Follow-on work is expected to include the UH-60 Black Hawk and V-22 Osprey. Goodrich makes fuel measurement and management systems for nearly every Air Force aircraft.
In August, the Air Force conducted an F-15E Strike Eagle flight test using a 50-50 mix of JP-8 jet fuel and a natural gas-based synthetic fuel. Engineers and pilots alike were pleased with that flight test and said the aircraft functioned in the same range it would have with jet fuel alone. They expected the jet to be certified as a result of the flight tests. Alternate fuels will help the industry, and military in particular, reduce its carbon footprint. The U.S. Air Force Alternative Fuels Certification office is tasked with the effort to certify the entire Air Force fleet on synthetic fuel by 2011.
Under the current contract, 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 traditional JP-8 jet fuel. The evaluation will assure accuracy in range, limits of operation, durability and compatibility for each aircraft system. These tests will determine what, if any, modifications need to be made to the fuel management system to assure that the system performs within specified limits. The company’s Sensors and Integrated Systems team in Vergennes, Vt, is performing work.