New Delhi: In a first, experimental test pilots and test engineer from the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), which is a premier establishment in Indian Air Force (IAF), flew an An-32 military transport aircraft using blended bio-jet fuel. The sortie was flown at Chandigarh.
In a statement, the IAF said: “The IAF carried out extensive engine tests on the ground. This is now followed by flight trials using 10 per cent bio-jet blended ATF. This fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chhattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun”. The Indian Air Force intends to fly the An-32 transport aircraft using bio-jet fuel on 26 January 2019 at the Republic Day flypast.
The project is a combined effort of IAF, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Directorate General Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) and CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum.
Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had on 27 July 2018 announced the IAF’s intention to promote biojet fuels. He had stated it while addressing the CII-SIDM seminar on promoting indigenised technologies.
The ASTE conducts flight testing of aircraft, airborne systems and weapon stores before their induction into the IAF. The Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment also undertakes flight testing of airborne systems designed and developed by agencies such as DRDO for IAF.