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Royal Netherlands Air Force operating F-16 Fighting Falcons on 5% biojet blend

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has begun operating F-16 Fighting Falcons on a 5 percent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), supplied by SkyNRG, Shell Aviation and World Energy. The move follows successfully testing conducted during summer 2018 by the Dutch Ministry of Defence and is the next step in efforts to enable the use of SAF in military aviation in a bid to reduce its environmental impact.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has begun operating F-16 Fighting Falcons on a 5% blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Fuelling An F-16 Fighting Falcon at Leeuwarden Air Base (photo courtesy SkyNRG).

The F-16 Fighting Falcons fly on a mix containing 5 percent SAF which is used by the aircraft flying out of Leeuwarden Airbase. The SAF, produced by World Energy at its Paramount facility in California, is derived from used cooking oil (UCO).

The biojet fuel is supplied by SkyNRG and Shell Aviation to the airbase in Leeuwarden and mixed at the airbase with conventional fuel for the Fighting Falcons. The SAF reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with sixty to eighty percent compared to conventional fuel.

The transition to sustainable aviation is of key importance for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In 2010 we performed the first demonstration flight with an Apache helicopter on biofuel. We now want to work towards structurally operating all our aircraft on SAF from all our locations. The current flights on SAF from Leeuwarden Airbase are an important step in this, said Colonel Paul de Witte, Head of Material Logistical Regulation and Development at the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The SAF supplied in Leeuwarden is enough for the first half of 2019. In the coming years, the Royal Netherlands Air Force aims to gradually increase the blend percentage and eventually operate all aircraft on SAF. In 2030, the Air Force wants to reduce dependency on fossil fuels with twenty percent, and in 2050 with no less than seventy percent.

We are very happy with the leadership role that the Royal Netherlands Air Force takes in the energy transition and proud to work with them for the supply of sustainable aviation fuel. In the summer of 2018, we supplied the first volume of SAF to the Air Force at Leeuwarden Airbase for one F-16. It is great that this is now being followed-up and all F-16 Fighting Falcons operate on SAF from Leeuwarden. We hope this is an inspiration for other governments as well, said Eline Schapers, Head of Sales, Supply & Operations at SkyNRG.

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