Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Antonov An-32 tactical military transport aircraft fleet was formally certified, on May 24, to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to 10% of indigenous bio-jet fuel.
The approval certificate was received at the aero-engine test facilities at Chandigarh by Air Commodore Sanjiv Ghuratia VSM, Air Officer Commanding of IAF’s 3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD), on behalf of the Air Force from P. Jayapal, Chief Executive of Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC).
CEMILAC is a laboratory, under Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), whose primary function is certification and qualification of military aircraft and airborne systems.
The IAF has undertaken a series of evaluation tests and trials with this 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, said an MOD statement. This bio-fuel would be produced from Tree Borne Oils (TBOs).
The indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced by the CSIR-IIP (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum) lab at Dehradun in 2013, but 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 PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC 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.