IAF’s AN-32 Aircraft Certified to Operate on Indigenous Bio-Jet Fuel

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) AN-32 aircraft was formally fleet certified to fly on blended aviation fuel which contain up to 10% of indigenous bio-jet fuel.

Key Highlights

About: The Russian made AN-32 aircraft is IAF’s formidable workhorse. It received the approval certificate for flying on blended aviation fuel at the aero-engine test facilities at Chandigarh.

Background:

  • The indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced in 2013 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) lab at Dehradun, but due to lack of test facilities in the civil aviation sector it could not be tested or certified for commercial use on aircraft.
  • Later in July, 2018, Chief of Air Staff (COAS) Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa formally announced Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) intention of permitting use of all its resources for testing and certifying the indigenous fuel. Since then, The IAF’s engineers and flight test crew have undertaken a series of tests for evaluating the performance of this indigenous fuel against international standards.

Significance:

  • In last one year IAF undertook a series of evaluation tests and trials with this green aviation fuel. The scope of these evaluation tests and checks was in consonance with international aviation standards. The approval granted is an acknowledgement of meticulous testing using indigenous bio-jet fuel by IAF.
  • The recent certification is a huge step towards promoting the ‘Make in India’ mission as this bio-fuel would be produced indigenously from Tree Borne Oils (TBOs) which will be sourced from tribal areas and farmers and will further augment their income substantially.

About Bio-Jet Fuel: This indigenous bio-jet fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chhattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun.

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