It reads like a plot line from one of the National Lampoon movies...
"A team of uber nerds set out on cross-country road trip in an RV nicknamed after an urban assault vehicle, hell bent on convincing the government that they've discovered a way to make jet fuel from chicken fat."
No, it's not reality (TV), it's actuality.
Two scientists from NASA's Langley Research Center traveled 2,600 miles to meet up with other researchers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California for an experiment with Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Fuel.
Researchers are testing the biofuel on a NASA DC-8 to measure its performance and emissions as part of the Alternative Aviation Fuel Experiment II, or AAFEX II.
"It's made out of chicken fat, actually," said Langley's Bruce Anderson, AAFEX II project scientist. "The Air Force bought many thousands of gallons of this to burn in some of their jets and provided about 8,000 gallons (30,283 liters) to NASA for this experiment."
These tests will assess exhaust emissions generated by modern turbine aircraft engines using a 50-50 mix of biofuel and regular jet fuel, biofuel only, and jet fuel only. With a goal of eventually flying all of its aircraft using 50 percent biofuel, the Air Force is very interested in finding a viable alternative to petroleum-based fuels.
Top Image: NASA's DC-8 at Dryden Flight Research Center's Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.
Credit: NASA Dryden/Tom Tschida