British Airforce to Modify F-35s, Typhoons and Wildcat Choppers to Run on Biofuel

Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon
Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon. By Chris Lofting – link, GFDL 1.2, link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Cautious Optimism; The British Airforce has committed to modifying military aircraft to run on biofuel. My question – does the war end when the chip fat runs out?

British military looking to move aircraft to sustainable fuel sources

By Ed Adamczyk

Dec. 14 (UPI) — A plan to use sustainable sources for up to 50 percent of military aviation fuel was announced by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace this week.

The British Ministry of Defense on Saturday said it would look to algae, alcohol, household waste, wood and biomass as potential sources of fuel for the nation’s F-35 and Typhoon planes and Wildcat helicopters.

A 2017 research paper by U.S. Air Force Maj. Marcus McWilliams of the Air Force’s Air University noted that most U.S. military planes can operate on sustainable aviation fuel. But no funding has been offered to modify the engines of F-35 and F-22 planes — which can’t run on it — and require a 12- to 24-month process of testing and certification.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/12/14/British-military-looking-to-move-aircraft-to-sustainable-fuel-sources/5341607977557/

Perhaps this is a good time for the Falkland Islanders to brush up on their Spanish. One of the reasons the Falklands Islands are still a diplomatic flashpoint between Britain and Argentina is they suddenly got valuable, after major oil deposits were discovered in the region.

But if Britain no longer values oil, and if the British military is too busy being green to stay focussed on operational readiness, the next Falklands war may not end as well for Britain as the last war.

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John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:06 am

Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, but British Army, the oldest regiments of which descend from parliamentary units, not the king’s forces.

Greg
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 5:19 am

Capitalisation is used to indicate a title. A subtlety apparently lost on some colonials.
There once was a time when adjectives like “british” took a lower case though reverse colonialism seems to have made that useful distinction outmoded even in Britain.

The strong german component to N. American population by fleeing pilgrims seems to have led to some confusion on how to use capitals in English ( that’s a noun by the way, so capitalised ) since they capitalise all common nouns as well as proper nouns ( though they also do not capitalise adjectives ).

So describing the air force of Britain, whose official title is the Royal Air Force would be decribed as the british air force.

Reply to  Greg
December 16, 2020 7:51 am

Well, I learned something today. I did not know that Germans capitalize “all common nouns as well as proper nouns.” Thank you for educating me, Greg.

rleewinters
Reply to  Greg
December 16, 2020 7:55 am

Gregg:

“Pedantic is an insulting word used to describe someone who annoys others by correcting small errors, caring too much about minor details, or emphasizing their own expertise especially in some narrow or boring subject matter.”

The shoe appears to fit you and others who posted nitpicking comments. Boredom in the time of Covid?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  rleewinters
December 16, 2020 8:30 am

So, your nitpicking about nitpicking would also be pedantic…

fish
Reply to  rleewinters
December 16, 2020 9:22 am

I’ll add another nit – Greg is spelled with two “g”s, not three.

Phil's Dad
Reply to  rleewinters
December 16, 2020 8:29 pm

No comma before “or”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Greg
December 16, 2020 8:29 am

“The strong german component to N. American population by fleeing pilgrims seems to have led to some confusion on how to use capitals in English ( that’s a noun by the way, so capitalised ) since they capitalise all common nouns as well as proper nouns ( though they also do not capitalise adjectives ).”

My German teacher (native German) in high school did not teach us that.

Kpar
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 16, 2020 9:37 am

Funny, mine did.

John Tillman
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 16, 2020 2:22 pm

Pretty hard to miss it in reading German.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Greg
December 16, 2020 11:09 am

No subtleties are lost on the semi-colonials.

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg
December 18, 2020 8:58 am

Proper adjectives are capitalized in British English, just as in the ex-colonies. It has nothing to do with influence of German orthography.

Check Fowler’s English Usage, published by Oxford.

Some formerly proper adjectives have lost their capitalization. New Fowler’s cites “chauvinism” as an example, having lost its association with Chauvin.

taz1999
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 9:30 am

Sure, throw another wrench into the F-35 cluster. Hope they strain the fries out pretty good. Apparently they implemented using the fuel to cool the avionics. What could possibly go wrong. At least for a while the jets would not start if the fuel was too hot. They ended up painting the fuel trucks white and storing under shelter and occasionally water cooled. There is no fuel savings worth this for F35. Good news is F35 implements it’s own CO2 reductions by not being able to fly a lot.

Ian Magness
December 16, 2020 2:08 am

This is a joke, right? What next, solar powered missiles? Li ion battery troop carriers and tanks?
By the by, there is no such thing as the “British airforce” nor the “Ministry of Defense”. Not sure what those mistakes say about the accuracy of the story.

Peter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 3:46 am

Defense must have something common with defenestration…

LdB
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 6:37 am

Defence and defense are both correct ways to spell the same word depends which part of the world you come from it part of the British English vs. American English war.

Color or Colour I guess is next up everyone arm up.

Bryan A
Reply to  LdB
December 16, 2020 9:09 am

Or you could simply try to be a neighborly neighbour

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
December 16, 2020 2:04 pm

Some British accents retained the ancient “rhoticity”. But Americans have also adopted innovations, such as flapping, and not just Americans.

Flapping or tapping, also known as alveolar flapping, intervocalic flapping, or t-voicing, is a phonological process found in many varieties of English, especially North American, Ulster, Australian and New Zealand English, whereby the voiceless alveolar stop consonant phoneme /t/ is pronounced as a voiced alveolar .

Thus, Shalespeare would have said “water”, while an RP speaker today would say, “watuh”, while an American “wadder”.

Kpar
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 7:11 am

“The English and the Americans- two peoples separated by a common language”- Mark Twain

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
December 16, 2020 2:11 pm

IOW, Shakespeare was rhotic but didn’t flap.

His Early Modern English accent was probably something between West Midlands and West Country. He “talked like a pirate”.

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
December 16, 2020 2:23 pm

West Midlands and West Country English are considered dialects as well as various accents.

GregK
Reply to  Bryan A
December 17, 2020 5:17 pm

There is no such thing as a single “British accent”. There are a range of British accents, and dialects. Try listening to people from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Newcastle and Penzance and tell me they are speaking the same language. Standard English is the middle -upper class language of London and the near SE.

Similarly the accents of people from California, New York [state and city] and Kentucky differ.

Much of English in the US reflects UK useage 300 – 400 years ago. The language has drifted along different paths in North America and the UK [and South Africa, Australia, NZ, Singapore, Caribbean etc] since then. None is more correct than the others

nottoobrite
Reply to  Ian Magness
December 16, 2020 2:52 am

Just released today
STOP PRESS
The British Military announced today that they will change all gunpowder weapons to use water as propellent

Krishna Gans
Reply to  nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 3:32 am

Not to forget to include lots of pepper powder 😀

Greg
Reply to  nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 5:34 am

Sustainable compressed air please. Provided by troops being supplied with military grade bicycle pumps for the front line.

Ian Johnson
Reply to  nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 6:43 am

Air rifles?

John VC
Reply to  Ian Johnson
December 16, 2020 8:48 am

Potato canons???

Bryan A
Reply to  Ian Johnson
December 16, 2020 9:12 am

Don’t they use small compressed CO2 cartridges?

PERRY SMITH
Reply to  Bryan A
December 16, 2020 2:55 pm

Aquanet hairspray works best!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ian Johnson
December 16, 2020 11:57 am

Ian and others,
You might find this to be of interest:

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2016/12/13/lewis-and-clarks-girandoni-air-rifle/

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 8:31 am

“The British Military announced today that they will change all gunpowder weapons to use water as propellent”

But, only recycled bidet water.

Franz Dullaart
Reply to  nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 10:33 am

And all machine guns to be replaced by pepper spray.

mikebartnz
December 16, 2020 2:11 am

I think that it is time I put my head between my knees and kissed my arse goodbye. The world has gone totally insane.
Please please stop putting all those stupid adverts on the page. They are a con.

Editor
Reply to  mikebartnz
December 16, 2020 3:06 am

I have often thought how unpleasant it must have been for people in the past who lived through collapse of nations and other disfunctional times. It seems we are experiencing the start of something similar. Please tell me why I’m wrong.

mikebartnz
Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 16, 2020 3:19 am

To be honest I think that the way things are going it is a bit like the fall of the Roman empire. People have just got too decadent.

Rod Evans
Reply to  mikebartnz
December 16, 2020 4:44 am

Only some people Mike just some. The rest of humanity don’t know what decadent means, much less have experience of it.

Drake
Reply to  mikebartnz
December 16, 2020 10:07 am

Watch the videos of the “protesters” in the streets of Portland or Seattle. Look at all the piercings and tats. Lots of money spent on wasteful things. They all probably have the latest I or Android 5 G phone to keep up on the schedule for the next riot.

Decadent, YES.

But nothing new, Most of the movers and shakers of the 60s protests were children of the wealthy, did not suffer for their actions, and are of the “ruling” class now.

Kpar
Reply to  Drake
December 17, 2020 7:13 am

Case in point, William Ayers

Sara
Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 16, 2020 4:19 am

It’s a sea change, MIke Jonas. It’s like watching a fruit grow, get bigger, attract pests that flock to it, and then — oopsie! It starts to disintegrate.

Sometimes, disintegration is quick and sloppy, and other times, it’s a slow road to dribbling away to nothing.

The giddy exuberance going on now is like watching a balloon being inflated by hydrogen gas (no, not helium) and then the next day, it’s deflated.

Keep your pantry stocked with stuff that be kept on the shelf for a long term, and be as self-reliant as possible. And keep a weather eye on what is going on in the world, but don’t take it personally. It has nothing to do with you.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 12:27 pm

Personally, I like the use of the A10 brrrt brrrt to shoo away Sand Fleas

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
December 16, 2020 4:18 pm

Talk about using a sledge hammer to swat flies!

Although I suspect that your use of “sand fleas” is figurative.

USAF imagines that F-35 can fulfill A-10’s CAS mission.

Amend the 1947 USAF act, and let the Army have fixed wing jets.

Magne O
Reply to  mikebartnz
December 16, 2020 4:39 am

+1 to all points.

Regards MagneO

December 16, 2020 2:13 am

The RAF is now powered by McDonalds and Wimpey’s French Fries….eat more chips!

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 16, 2020 9:46 am

So THAT’S why the UK fishing quotas are becoming so important…??!

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 17, 2020 1:45 am

In my opinion, the only biofuels that make sense are produced from waste-to-fuel technologies. We have a huge surplus of municipal waste and industrial waste and we can always use fuel.

All other biofuel technologies (crops or trees to fuel) just do not make sense – very poor use of land, water, etc.

John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:16 am

Thanks to carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her F-35s, the Royal Navy is now better able to defend the Falklands than previously in this century.

https://youtu.be/CM6_X6wUteQ

The RAF however no longer has strategic bombers.

I suspect that in a war, Her Majesty’s sea and air services would revert to JP fossil fuel.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:34 am

Typhoon’s ferry range with three drop tanks is 2050 nautical miles.

Ascension Island is over 3600 nm. from the UK, and the Falklands 3300 nm. thence.

RAF in-flight refueling capability might not be up to the task. Britain might want to consider buying used B-1Bs from the US.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:46 am

From Gibraltar is almost 2700 nm. flying over North Africa, but a bit more over the Atlantic the whole way.

Rusty
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 6:34 am

Why would the UK wish to buy a tiny fleet of tired aircraft with enormous maintenence costs to carry out a job of bombing an island we already are in control of?

The FI could be reinforced very quickly. There’s no need to buy bombers or use aircraft carriers if Argentina ever managed to get into a position of possibly threatening the islands again.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rusty
December 16, 2020 11:44 am

Not so sure about rapid reinforcement. As noted, it would require a lot refueling to get more Typhoons to the FI.

In the Falklands War, Vulcans from Ascension softened up Argentine defenses before the army invasion. They could also attack Argentine bases with standoff weapons.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility for Argentina again to try to seize the FI, given oil. Its air force and navy are decrepit, but UK military assets are concentrated in a small area.

A desperate Argentine government could try again. The people are still resentful. The issue was discussed again after England-hating Maradona’s death.

China might come to their aid with more debt slavery loans, as it and Russia have done for Venezuela.

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:05 pm

Trust me, I’ve served in the Falklands, it’s well defended against the toothless Argentinians. The Typhoons based there are more than enough to defend the islands

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:33 pm

Right you are, they’re toothless now, after decades of neglect from debt.

But if the 45 million nationalistic people ever right their economy, look out. Or if they get allies, and not just Chile or Brazil:

https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/what-are-chinas-intentions-in-antarctica/#:~:text=China%20began%20its%20first%20Antarctic,to%20be%20completed%20in%202022.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:44 pm

In mass production as of now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyang_FC-31

Carrier-based, stealthy, fifth generation, naval attack-fighter, twin engine, but based upon stolen, supposedly secret F-35 data package.

Phil's Dad
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 9:38 pm

Its unlikely Chile would fight against the UK. I was fortunate enough to develop a friendship with the Chilean Ambassador to the UK not long ago (and the then Military Attaché – now a Major General in the Chilean Army). Our two countries get on rather well.

Not long ago the phase 3 trials for the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine took place in Chile.

The UK and Chile have been trading partners for the last 200 years and back in October this year ministers from the two countries held further Anglo-Chilean trade talks in advance of the United Kingdom-Chile Agreement coming into force on 31st December. In fact Chile was the first country to sign a trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom.

As for Argentina, while I wish them well they are in no fit state to go to war. I won’t get into “our gun is bigger than your gun” but we sent a small Overseas Patrol Vessel to the Falklands recently and that was enough to put the wind up them. (It’s the type we use to protect our fishing fleet.)

Actually the last time our two navies met was when our Antarctic Icebreaker helped in the search for one of their submarines. Sadly it had imploded and sunk off their coastline with the loss of all hands. Their other two subs have been docked ever since.

Running out of chip fat? Fish and chips is the national dish! (and it seems we will have plenty of fish soon enough).

Other than that I agree with the article. Biofuel is an enormous red-herring, also great with chips but not much use for anything else.

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil's Dad
December 17, 2020 2:52 pm

The RN used to keep a destroyer in the Falklands, until the Argentine navy looked to weak to merit such a costly deployment. Argentina isn’t deterred by the patrol boat, but by the rest of Britain’s defenses, possibly to include a nuclear attack sub. Nice thing about SSNs is that the enemy can’t know whether one is there of not. If it is, the diminished Armada de Argentina would be advised to stay in port.

I live in Chile. My wife is a Chilean COVID nurse.

Under conservative presidents, Chile and the UK remain friendly. Not so much under socialists. Lately Chile has alternated between parties, but a new constitution to replace Pinochet’s could ensconce socialism or worse.

Argentina and Chile are traditional rivals, if not combatants. However that could change, if to Chile’s advantage. Obtaining access to oil and gas on the Patagonian continental shelf would definitely be a plus for hydrocarbon-poor Chile.

But, as noted, Argentina is also ripe to fall into the clutches of the CCP. A Chinese fishing fleet is currently sucking the South Pacific upwelling zone dry, in violation of every law of the sea. The navies of Ecuador and Peru could offer little resistance. Not so Chile’s sea service, whose traditions hark back to Lord Cochrane:

https://news.yahoo.com/chilean-navy-ships-monitor-huge-121152751.html

Phil's Dad
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 9:15 pm

Indeed Chile’s Navy commands respect with over 120 ships in service. Oilers and LPD aside their biggest ships are the frigate fleet, half of which were given to Chile by the Royal Navy.
Your talk of tradition reminds me of a happy time spent on Esmeralda – now there’s beautiful!

You are right that the peoples’ choice of President matters to international relations. The same of course applies to the USA where a Conservative or Socialist President can change everything. Just the same, we’re not going to war with them.

I wonder, if it came to it, if Chile and the UK might find they have a common enemy in China (no matter who’s in charge)?

Kpar
Reply to  John Tillman
December 18, 2020 5:58 am

I was about to comment that, over the last few decades, Argentina has been greatly disliked by other South American nations, specifically Chile and Brazil. Not sure why (perhaps the arrogant German influence after WWII?), but I have heard that from different sources.

JohnM
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 7:47 am

There are four Typhoons there permanently, providing air defence for the islands.There is also one A400M and one Voyager air-air refueling aircraft. No doubt a sub as well…

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 10:21 am

The USAF has mothballed and cannibalized half the original B-1B fleet of 100 to keep about 40 or so flyable. None to spare. USAF has recently qualified the B1B to employ the SLAM-ER. The SLAM is a much modified, updated version of the older Harpoon anti-ship missile. The ER means extended range, meaning the launcher can stay much further away from enemy defenses. The SLAM-ER incorporates all the latest high tech stuff like data links for rapid re-targeting after launch, jam-resistant modern GPS, advanced seekers, and probably a good degree of LO tech to make it had to detect. You don’t need hypersonic weapons if they can’t see it coming. The B1B now with SLAM-ER is quite potent and a feared weapon for the Chinese PLA and PLAN, or any navy against whom it might be used.
The Trump Admin agreed to sell Taiwan 100 SLAM-ERs earlier this year. That put the Chicoms in a tizzy fit. It is one reason (of many) why I believe the President Xi and Chicoms have decided to invade and retake Taiwan sometime between Jan 20th and May of next year. Once the Taiwanese AF has those SLAM-ERs, taking Taiwan with force will be highly costly to China’s Navy and probably close the door until the Chinese PLA has answer to defeating it.
Also I don’t discount the likelihood the Chinese will be pressuring Bejing Joe to cancel the SLAM-ER sale and that he will do so to appease the Chicoms. They did after all buy his son and brother with millions of cash and could embarrass Dementia Joe if details of that all that hidden money got made public.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 16, 2020 11:27 am

The USAF wants to reduce its B-1 inventory. Congress nixed that and A-10 reduction. As B-21 joins the force, Congress May acquiesce.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 5:01 pm

The B1B is an expensive airframe to maintain with its swing wing and 4 engines. New manufacturer’s assemblyline parts evaporated long ago. The spare parts to keep the operational ones now come from cannibalized B1B’s sent to the Tucson boneyard. But it has gotten avionics and battle management upgrades though recently. The LANTIRN targeting pod upgrade kept it a valuable player in Afghanistan and Syria/Iraq against ISIS. Now it has also been qualified to carry the SLAM-ER control and multi-spectral EO pod, something PACOM desperately wanted as an operational requirement.

Some B1Bs have air battlement tech installed. Its long-range and ability to stay on-station and loiter is second only to the B-52 but with a smaller crew and faster speeds.

Its Rockwell defensive countermeasures suite was royally messed-up 2 decades ago and it never recovered from that fiasco. Still it is a formidable assets. Intercontinental range, able to come in to a battle space at just below Mach 1, launch weapons and then turn and run away a supersonic speeds.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Joel,

Right you are that B-1 was infamous for jamming itself.

However in stand-off mode, that’s less of a drawback.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 16, 2020 12:46 pm

“They did after all buy his son and brother with millions of cash and could embarrass Dementia Joe if details of that all that hidden money got made public.”

Ten percent of that money supposedly went to “the Big Guy”, Joe Biden. Joe has lots of reasons to cooperate with the Chicoms.

Kpar
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 18, 2020 6:00 am

With China Joe in charge, they can take their time- he will not interfere.

Steve Cushman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 9:40 pm

They will have to use US air tankers that are leased so that the methanol won’t be contaminated by JP8, or HVO*. Those 2050 nautical mile range Typhoons will have 680 N mile range on methanol. The QE class aircraft carrier groups will have to included a lot of tankers. Converting gas turbines from fuel oils to methanol is not so easy. The low energy density will require replacing the fuel system with higher flow capacity components. Bigger fuel transfer pumps in tanks, bigger engine fuel pump & larger inside diameter piping. One problem with methanol besides being corrosive is it is very hydroscopic. It sucks up water like a sponge.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Cushman
December 17, 2020 2:57 pm

Yes, military biofuel reliance is a pipe dream, at best.

Kpar
Reply to  John Tillman
December 18, 2020 6:02 am

I wish I could give you a hundred upvotes. BTW, I love the new format!

Kpar
Reply to  Steve Cushman
December 18, 2020 6:02 am

As long as some of us here are into nitpicking… that word is “hygroscopic”.

griff
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 2:55 am

But against what? The Argentinian Airforce and Navy have been neglected and are in steep decline. If I recall correctly an Argentinian warship even sank at anchor…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 8:35 am

Hmm, since reality is usually the opposite of whatever griff posts, Argentina must be the greatest superpower EVAH!!

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 16, 2020 2:07 pm

Just this once I do believe Griff is correct. Then again, a broken clock is right twice a day 😂😂

John Tillman
Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
December 16, 2020 4:26 pm

Yes, Griff is uncharacteristically correct. For now.

But Argentina could arise again. All it needs to do is to embrace capitalism for more than four years out of a century.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
December 16, 2020 5:10 pm

Mods?! Griff’s account as been hacked!!!

Phil's Dad
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 16, 2020 9:45 pm

Sank at anchor is unfair. It actually crashed into the jetty before it left port and had to re-dock for repairs.

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil's Dad
December 17, 2020 2:58 pm

Still a lot closer to reality than is Griff/Loydo’s wont.

Phil's Dad
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 9:35 pm

Fair point

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 3:05 am

OTOH, Argentine military aviation might presently best be described as pathetic.

The AAF has perhaps six operational A-4s and a similar number of indigenous jet trainers with limited combat capability. Its turboprop counter-insurgency planes wouldn’t be of much use.

The navy has no operational Super Étendards, due to lack of spare parts.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 3:11 am

4 Typhoons on the Falklands could destroy the Argies’ Air Force. From their hangers, while the pilots drink tea. Faith, Hope, Charity and Desperation have a good chance against all of South American airforces.

John Tillman
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
December 16, 2020 3:25 am

Brazil has a good air force. So does Chile, although it’s small. Colombia has 21 Kfirs, with good air and ground crew. Peru has 18 MiG-29s, perhaps 10 operational Mirages and some Su-25 attack planes, but of dubious preparedness.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 3:37 am

Chile has 46 F-16s and 11 F-5s, so not so small by South American standards.

Brazil has ordered 27 Gripens and currently operates 43 F-5s and 47 AMX ground attack jets, plus a bunch of Tucano COIN turboprops.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 3:16 am

Four RAF Typhoons are based in the Falklands. They should be able to intercept six A-4s.

The British Army maintains a SAM battery there as well. The RN hasn’t kept a destroyer there since 2015.

joe - the non military expert
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 5:12 am

lack of strategic bombers is thought to be one of the major failures of Barbarosa. The germans lacked the ability to destroy the russian industries that have moved east of the urals

John Tillman
Reply to  joe - the non military expert
December 16, 2020 1:58 pm

Germany wasn’t ready for the war. Its industry hadn’t had time to build enough engines for a fleet of viermots. It tried to make twin engine long-range bombers, but without much success. Nor could its short-legged single engine fighters escort four-engine bombers. Its twin-engine fighters were OK at night but not in the day.

“Precision” (very relative) bombing at night required radar as well.

Rusty
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 6:30 am

There’s a permanent aircraft carrier on station in the Falklands and it’s much larger than the two new carriers. It’s called RAF Mount Pleasant on East Falkland.

There’s 4 Typhoon FGR4, a Voyager (tanker) and an A400 Atlas (transport) currently stationed and easily reinforced.

Not that it matters, the Argentinian armed forces are in a completely delapidated state so couldn’t mount any operation to invade the islands anyway.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rusty
December 16, 2020 11:53 am

The navy still has operational destroyers and phibs. The RN has one patrol boat on station, but there might be a nuclear sub as well. Argentine subs haven’t put to sea since 2012.

The air force jet fighter and attack arms are pitiful, but transports in better shape.

Most likely any attempt would be by commandos sneaked in by air or sea.

Argentina might offer to share the oil with Chile, whose air and naval forces are formidable. Last time, Chile sided with Britain.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rusty
December 16, 2020 1:53 pm

The RAF has nine Voyager tankers. It keeps one in the FI and another on the shuttle from Brize Norton to Ascension.

Five more are available from AirTanker Services, an aircraft leasing company.

Voyager’s refueling capacity is 111,000 kg maximum without additional fuel tanks, or 65,000 kg at 1000 nmi with two hours on station. Typhoon’s internal fuel capacity 4996 kg. The three drop tanks probably each carry 1000 liters, so call it an extra ~2400 kg.

The Voyagers from Britain, Ascension and the FI might have to refuel at least part of the time farther out than 1000 nmi. But theoretically, one Voyager could top off about 13 Typhoons before being sucked dry. RAF has 136 in service, far more than it would need against the decrepit AAF and AAN.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rusty
December 16, 2020 1:54 pm

Unfortunately, Mt. Pleasant doesn’t move and its location is always known. Plus, a carrier with four combat a/c isn’t much of a carrier.

Scissor
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 7:03 am

Bombers do alright with biojet because its energy content per unit mass is high, but for fighters one wants a high energy per unit volume and biojet is not so good at that.

Given the high price of fighters, it’s lunacy to consider increasing loss risk by using biojet.

Martin
Reply to  Scissor
December 16, 2020 8:28 am

Sadly the UK is run by lunatics at the moment – so it all makes perfect sense . Who cares about the loss of some billion pound a go jet fighters if we can hold our heads high and lecture the rest of the World on how wonderfully Green we have become and how they should follow suit.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Martin
December 16, 2020 12:05 pm

Martin,
If the state of affairs is such that those who can’t even teach teachers become politicians, than the situation is to be expected.

TonyG
Reply to  Scissor
December 16, 2020 10:04 am

Is it still lunacy when lunacy is the norm?

Phil's Dad
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 9:34 pm

F35b can deliver 1,000lb smart bombs. Might not be strategic but it still hurts.

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil's Dad
December 17, 2020 3:00 pm

Would take a lot refueling to get F-35 to the FI unless aboard a carrier, which would require time to arrive.

Phil's Dad
Reply to  John Tillman
December 17, 2020 10:09 pm

That is true even at QE’s 25kn – assuming it was at the wrong end of the pond at the time. On the other hand if we really were going down that path it could take a similar time for the Argentinean support to turn up.

d
December 16, 2020 2:17 am

Vegetable oil based fuel is only sustainable at the end of a petroleum fueled agricultural supply chain. Alcohol and biogas based fuels pretty much the same. But if it brings down the cost of fuel for training, then the conversion is likely to be useful, and not irreversible.

Alex
December 16, 2020 2:20 am

No.
The war for the chip fat will leash out

Herbert
December 16, 2020 2:22 am

To quote President Elect Biden- “Is this a joke?”

December 16, 2020 2:48 am

with the UK and most Western nations post the Virus being badly off, it makes little sense to spend money converting hydro carbons to second grade fuel. I think is just Properganda to say to the liked of the EU, Look how Green we are..

VK5ELL MJE

DaveS
Reply to  Michael
December 16, 2020 10:12 am

This is a Green la-la-land policy, whether it makes any economic or practical sense is irrelevant.

griff
December 16, 2020 2:53 am

following the US NAvy

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=17271

The US airforce has tried biofuel, but I can’t find any recent update – I suspect this stalled under Trump, but will now be restarted.

See also:
https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/NCO-Journal/Archives/2020/June/Renewable-Energy/

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 10:36 am

The USAF biofuel project was shutdown during the Obama Admin, IIRC. It was way too costly to produce the levels of fuel the USAF needed every day to operate and train. It was something like 6x-8x times more expensive than regular Jet Fuel, and even with scale-up could only supply about 1 weeks worth of fuel per year of normal state-side operations. Completely inadequate and unaffordable all the way around. Just like the windmills and solar farm unrealiables for electricity.

Of course now with oil prices dipping again, the economics of biofuels still looks horrible even with the climate scam carbon pricing. It will always be cheaper to just buy carbon indulgences and use petroleum-based jet fuel.

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 11:31 am

Biofuel is extremely bad for the environment. Much worse than fossil fuels.
Just look at “Planet of the Humans”.
And.
If the military become dependent on biofuels in a major conflict, a lot of people are going to starve – as more and more land goes over to growing biofuel instead of food.

nottoobrite
December 16, 2020 2:53 am

Just released today
STOP PRESS
The British Military announced today that they will change all gunpowder weapons to use water as propellent

Vuk
December 16, 2020 3:06 am

BoJo is facing a fight on the settee (now drinking only UK’s white wine) with his fiancé.
Top UK court overturns block on third Heathrow runway
Earlier ruling said expansion plan was illegal as government had not considered its climate commitments

Reply to  Vuk
December 16, 2020 3:46 am

I didn’t realise Bojo was gay, or did you mean fiancée?

Vuk
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 16, 2020 4:05 am

Leo, that is a sexist remark! All these ‘foreign’ words will be banished from the UK in a couple of weeks time. If we would like to save planet from the CCC (climate cataclysmic catastrophe) using two letters when one could do is waste of renewably generated electricity. Au revoir mon cher ami.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Vuk
December 16, 2020 4:53 am

For consistency, shouldn’t you have written ma? Although granted, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds such as mine.

Greg
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 16, 2020 5:30 am

shouldn’t you have written ma?

No.
cf.
mon cher ami
ma chère amie.

I’m pretty sure Leo “self-identifies ” as male.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 16, 2020 9:04 am

Look behind you, about 2m up. That will be the point zooming over your head, Greg.

Vuk initially referred to the first squeeze as his fiancé and he justified it humorously as saving on wasteful letters (as if French were not a hopeless case with respect to unnecessary letters). Thus to be consistent with Vuk’s Law, mon should be replaced with ma, but chère must be cher, and amie would be ami.

(Ma cher ami)

I’m not sure how to translate the phrase “Ze is zir fiancé”. Any help?

Vuk
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 16, 2020 9:56 am

Zut alors!
That’s as much as I know.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 16, 2020 11:55 am

Well there goes the Neighbourhood

Kenan Meyer
December 16, 2020 3:11 am

Mass death and destruction of civilization must be in accordance with IPCCC rules ….

Pflashgordon
December 16, 2020 3:35 am

Of course, the UK has such vast crop lands lying idle and surplus grains and soybeans being wasted that there will be no problem raising the needed quantities using biofueled tractors.

Archer
Reply to  Pflashgordon
December 16, 2020 10:27 am

Nah , we’ll do the same thing we do for Drax, which was converted to run on compressed wood pellets: Import from America ant great expense, expending more fuel in the process and negating any putative effect the change would otherwise have.

AWG
December 16, 2020 4:25 am

This actually makes sense.

We are seeing world disruptions in oil use. There is so much gasoline, aviation fuel, diesel and other oil based products that can be refined out of a barrel of oil. Gasoline once was a waste product in the manufacture of kerosene, so the gasoline powered ICE vehicles found a home for that.

So what happens when diesel and gasoline are removed from the transportation diet? There is far less jet fuel available at a reasonable price point since there is a reduced market for other petroleum products that share the cost of extraction and refining.

Part of the designed destruction of society by electrification of surface transportation is to also make air flight far more expensive, and heating of homes more costly.

Rich Davis
Reply to  AWG
December 16, 2020 5:01 am

In a similar vein, dramatically increasing the cost of aviation fuel will assuredly stop aggressors in their tracks, and guarantee peace in our time. Just ask the Prime Minister, Boris Chamberlain.

joe - the non military expert
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 16, 2020 5:13 am

Second that with Boris Obama and the Iran “help built the bomb ” nuclear deal

Scissor
Reply to  AWG
December 16, 2020 6:58 am

I’m having trouble answering the question, “why should society be destroyed.”

I just spent a couple of days skiing in Aspen and I wonder how all the rich commies there will get along when the airport and ski resorts are closed. There’ll be far fewer around to watch them prance about in their fur coats, but maybe that’s what they want, though their fancy restaurants and crepe stands will decline also.

bonbon
December 16, 2020 4:35 am

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier misses US trip, will stay docked for 6 months after ‘embarrassing’ flood
https://www.rt.com/uk/508925-aircraft-carrier-flooded-portsmouth/

British F-35 buy is still a moving target, defense ministry tells lawmakers
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/09/british-f-35-buy-is-still-a-moving-target-defense-ministry-tells-lawmakers/
Commitment 138, 40 ordered, 21 delivered.
Now since it appears the US F35B is to fly on the new leaking carrier, will Lockheed Martin modify the engines?

It is likely the Royal Navy will be in the EU Defense Union, Brexit bedamned.

John Tillman
Reply to  bonbon
December 16, 2020 6:41 am

UK is not an EDU member.

Sara
December 16, 2020 4:39 am

Well, while all of you are grumbling about this change, you should know that research into biofuels has been underway for some time now.

It is not something new, any more than gasohol is, and that’s all over the place, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Jet fuel is essentially kerosene, with gasoline mixed in depending on the engine. Biokerosene has been under research and testing for a while.

Here’s a link to a valid reference: https://www.skytanking.com/en/news-info/glossary/details/term/aviation-fuels-jet-fuel-aviation-gasoline-avgas-jet-b-biokerosene.html

Biokerosene
As a fossil fuel, jet fuel will become more expensive in the long term. Therefore, research on renewable alternatives has been ongoing for some time now, e.g. on biokerosene based on algae or biofuels from jatropha and camelina oil or “Solar Jet”. Biokerosene is a mixture of kerosene and biofuels that the aviation industry has been testing for several years in numerous test flights.

Dan-O
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 10:07 am

There was/is a company called Sapphire Energy that made a crude oil
from algae that was grown in ponds . They even flew
a 737 around the country on the stuff.
https://sustainableamerica.org/blog/green-crude-farm/

Then fracking came to life and that put the Algae fuel program
off to the side, the laws of disruptive innovation at work. IIRC
the algae was some kind of GMO product. We could run much of
our economy by growing this algae on sewage effluent that now
is polluting our waterways…bottom line would be NPK

Rod Evans
December 16, 2020 4:42 am

Our adversaries in combat will be so reassuring to know, the plane that launched the missile about to close out their existence was fueled on biodiesel.
Those dastardly types using pure aviation fuel from unrenewable sources, will be subjected to the usual condemnation “How Dare you” that will stop them.
The etiquette of war has never been so wonderful…..

Sara
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 16, 2020 4:57 am

Rod Evans, jet planes do not run on diesel. You are incorrect.

They run on kerosene. I posted a link above to an article about those fuels.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 5:32 am

Ha Ha LoL!! That is so funny Sara, if only you knew….

Sara
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 16, 2020 6:05 am

Yeah, well, I DO know, Sport.

Here’s a list of av fuels for your enlightenment:
Jet fuel (Jet A-1, kerosene)
Kerosene-gasoline mixture (Jet B)
Aviation gasoline (avgas)
Biokerosene

Got that?

Rod Evans
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 7:55 am

Sara,
Do not take things so personally or so seriously. Life is way too short for that to be a healthy state of mind.
My original comment was not intended to be a technical or detailed scientific overview of fuel blends used in jets. It was a light hearted comment in the midst of a very serious subject of warfare delivery systems.
I hope that is understood.
Happy Christmas. 🙂

Sara
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 3:57 pm

Oh, I didn’t take it personally. I just don’t understand why you didn’t bother reviewing the link I posted.
I went to the trouble of getting REAL info and you ignored it, for no good reason. I even inquired with a friend of mine who retired recently from Naval aviation if there had EVER been any use of diesel in military aircraft, and his response was “No diesel aircraft; things were bad enough with the transition from Avgas to jet fuel.” Avgas is for use in piston (reciprocating, as in WWII) engines, as in WWII, and jet fuel is used in turbine engines.

John Tillman
Reply to  Sara
December 17, 2020 3:08 pm

Many of my friends are retired from US naval aviation, so I respecct your friend. But he’s wrong. Aerodiesel has been used in the past and is more popular now than ever, for prop planes, turboprops and jets.

The “knock” so to speak, on avgas is its TEL content. while diesel doesn’t need lead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_diesel_engine#DieselJet

The famous Soviet T-34 diesel tank engine began life as a dirigibile and heavier than air aviation motor.

Tom in Florida
December 16, 2020 4:42 am

Perhaps they may want to ask the pilots for their input first.

James Snook
December 16, 2020 4:45 am

There is nobody more fanatical than a convert to a new religion. The same applies to Governments like that of we unfortunate Brits.

Dusty
December 16, 2020 4:46 am

With a hat tip to Jonathon Swift, I suggest they look into the sustainable use of their consequent mass casualties when investigating biomass alternatives.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dusty
December 16, 2020 5:08 am

Not particularly sustainable, since defeat would come in a matter of days anyway.

Ed
December 16, 2020 4:48 am

Years ago I was involved with developing
A coal slurry for aviation fuel
It worked
But it did not “fly”

bonbon
December 16, 2020 4:50 am

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg is a devotee of mandatory reductions in “carbon emissions.”
He was Norwegian Environment Minister.
Jens Stoltenberg was Prime Minister of Norway from 2000-01 and 2005-13 and currently serves as the 13th Secretary-General of NATO. He was previously Minister of Finance (1996-1997); Minister of Trade and Energy (1993-1996) and State Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment (1990-1991).

As Senator Black , Col. Richard Black (ret.), just this week made clear NATO is a threat to world security, and the center of the so-called “deep state”. It is the swamp – going green is par for the course…

John Tillman
Reply to  bonbon
December 16, 2020 6:54 am

Do you get all your “news” from RT, Putin’s propaganda channel?

Sara
Reply to  bonbon
December 16, 2020 7:58 am

Do you have a link for that, bonbon? I’d like to be able to send it out. Thanks.

John Tillman
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 11:59 am

COL Dick Black is a retiring Virginia state senator who appeared often on RT in support of the Assad regime.

A Marine Viet vet and Army JAG lawyer.

Bruce Cobb
December 16, 2020 5:11 am

I highly recommend coffee and donuts as a jet fuel. Because everything runs on Dunkin.

bonbon
December 16, 2020 5:12 am

Elon Must believes in methane :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Raptor
The Raptor engine is powered by subcooled liquid methane and subcooled liquid oxygen .
Not known if Rolls Royce in involved….
I wonder what the alarmists will say while driving there Tesla’s to the charger…

Bryan A
Reply to  bonbon
December 16, 2020 12:04 pm

Hmmm
Burning Methane CH4 and Okygen LOX as a fuel source for a rocket engine?
I wonder what magnificent gasses are the byproduct?
/sarc
H2O/CO2????

David Guy-Johnson
December 16, 2020 5:19 am

The Navy is better prepared to defend the Falklands today than it was 40 years ago. The Argentinians on the other hand couldn’t mount a successful assault on a crisp packet today

John Tillman
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
December 18, 2020 11:16 am

Forty years ago, the Royal Navy was able to send two aircraft carriers to the FI. Today, Prince of Wales is unavailable. Lack of a long-range bomber also hurts.

Here’s another possible source of support for Argentina:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagner_Group

At the very least, Russia could supply enough transport helicopters and fixed-wing cargo planes to carry the Argentine Rapid Deployment Force and mountain troops to the FI, and maintain them there.

While underfunded, the Argentine army is now a 70,000-strong professional rather than conscript force.

But China is perhaps a likelier patron, in exchange for a sub-Antarctic base in the Western Hemisphere, and a share of fossil fuel sales.

Peta of Newark
December 16, 2020 5:20 am

I discovered ‘Bio-Fuel in my local DIY store (B&Q for UK folks)

It was/is intended for pretentious stainless-steel & glass table-top burners/heaters.
In actual fact it is simply methylated spirit that has not been dyed purple and at £5 for 2 litres was bargain of the century. Purple Meths on a nearby shelf was £3.95 for 500ml

An epic solvent and cleaner for my messing around with solder & flux plus myriad sorts of glue – gentler than Acetone but in these modern diseased times, a brilliant disinfectant.
Put a cupful in the ‘softener/conditioner’ compartment of your washing machine especially if you run on only warm washes of no more that 40C. Kills bugs and leaves an ‘epic’ if short-lived smell

But now, 3 years later, those same (were= £5) 2 litre bottles of Bio-fuel are now £9.87.
Errr, wasn’t renewable energy supposed to be getting cheaper and cheaper?

How does that ‘help the climate’
Where does the money come from if *not* from extracting, processing, manufacturing, distributing and selling ‘stuff’ – all= things that *trash* the climate as we’re endlessly told.
You all know *who* I’m looking at for an answer.

And how does that affect the price of petrol – now the stuff is a mandatory additive?
Me smells the stink of Cronyism (and trollery) that even the alcohol cannot remove.

What *would* work there dya think?

Harold
December 16, 2020 5:22 am

Good to see that uncle Ben Wallace has finally achieved his ambition scrabbling for slimy, green, oily residues of household waste, alcohol and algae in Whitehall. He has nothing better to do after all ?

Loren C. Wilson
December 16, 2020 5:23 am

This will be a thing until a very expensive plane falls out of the sky due to fuel quality issues. Then the military will quietly revert to a more reliable hydrocarbon-based fuel.

Sara
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
December 16, 2020 7:43 am

It appears to be “all talk” to me. It’s fine to announce it, but unless real-world testing on biofuel for military planes has been completed, it won’t be in use for a while. We’ve had biofuels for cars (85/15 gasoline at the pump) for a while now, and cars aren’t melting or running into trees (unless the driver does that).

However, if it stretches the military’s budget, so much the better, isn’t it?

n.n
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 9:04 am

The military is a tool. However, whether defensive, or social justice (i.e. choice, offensive), the funds will be redistributed, the lives aborted, the children dunked (e.g. Mediterranean, Rio Grande, Caribean Sea). In fact, the latter (i.e. social justice adventurism) has a legacy of forcing greater excess deaths (i.e. elective) and anthropogenic dysfunction (e.g. catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform not limited to refugee crises) than the former.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sara
December 16, 2020 12:19 pm

What does it’s use do to the prime limiting factor “Range”?
I have heard that while some mixtures may burn cleaner they also carry less energy per gallon so, in the case of driving, mileage is reduced by upwards of 30%.
I thought most jet fuel ratings were measured in gallons per hour based on average cruising speed at altitude. Do you have any info on how/if gallons per hour figures are affected when biofuels are used?
I would imagine that a fighter that has to refuel 3 times in flight or one that has a potential 30% shorter maximum flight time might be far less useful in times of war. Not to mention maximum range from aircraft carrier operations.

Ed
December 16, 2020 5:37 am

One may also note that many of the seals o rings etc are very sensitive to fuel changes
Again I made a lot of money when the Indonesian Air Force started to use a high silver fuel and resulted
Seal failure

niceguy
December 16, 2020 6:30 am

Biofuel for turbo reactors is so common and tired
I want 100% organic missiles.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  niceguy
December 16, 2020 8:45 am

Your wish is already granted. Absolutely everything that has ever been made, or ever will be made, come from all natural ingredients.

commieBob
December 16, 2020 6:31 am

We have history from WW2 to guide us. The Germans bent over backwards trying to find a substitute for oil. As far as I can tell, oil was also the reason they attacked the Soviet Union. link We know how that turned out.

There is no good substitute for cheap plentiful oil. The military is very interested in history. They know the pivotal role of oil in WW2. They also understand logistics better than anybody. They wouldn’t be bothering with this crap if they weren’t forced to do so by the politicians.

philincalifornia
Reply to  commieBob
December 16, 2020 7:06 am

Bob, see also my comment at 7:04 below. Highly related.

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 16, 2020 7:08 am

If oil had been H!tler’s main goal in 1941, he would have concentrated all his armor in the south, or dispensed with Army Groups North (objective Leningrad) and Center (Moscow) entirely.

He’d have had a long vulnerable left flank, but no worse than his defensive line in winter 1941-42. And he’d have gotten the Caucasian-Caspian oil fields.

Oil did become his goal in 1942, leading to Stalingrad.

LdB
December 16, 2020 6:49 am

The US and Germany has it’s own version of this stupidity in 2008 with enviromentally friendly bombs which used tetrazole rather than TNT. It’s important to protect the atmosphere while destroying your enemy 🙂

philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 7:04 am

A little known and very relevant story here about a fuel change in the early stages of the Battle of Britain. Interestingly, it was a German colleague who pointed this out to me:

https://www.rsc.org/news-events/articles/2009/05-may/spitfire-fuel/

John Tillman
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 7:17 am

Other US oil companies boosted their avgas octane with TEL, called “ethyl” rather than “lead” because the latter sounded unhealthy.

philincalifornia
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 8:06 am

Yes, and another little known fact is that Avgas still contains tetraethyl lead.

There is technology out there to replace it, renewable too, but our great leaders are only interested in talking about things like this. Their brains are too small and petty to be able to think about actually doing something.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 9:43 am

The Avgas market – piston engines for light aircraft – must be pretty small. The vast majority of flights will be jets, and will use Aviation Turbine Fuel, which needs no lead.

Sara
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 7:47 am

That is really interesting. Thanks for that link!!

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 7:54 am

fascinating, never heard that before, thanks

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 16, 2020 9:39 am

Interesting – but though a high top speed and better altitude performance is certainly useful, it was not such a critical issue during the Battle of Britain.

The two issues in the BoB were the ability of the Luftwaffe to deliver bomb loads accurately on targets, and the ability of the RAF to stop them doing this. Fighting was therefore mainly at bomber speeds and altitudes, with Luftwaffe fighters primarily engaging the RAF when the bombers needed defending.

The key advantage of the British, which the Germans never realised until the BoB was over, was the Dowding System. This was an integrated flexible Airspace Command and Control system – the first in the world – which enabled raids to be detected, identified and intercepted at optimal positions for the defenders, across the whole of the UK battle zone, in real time.

Using this system, defending fighters could be deployed with nearly 100% efficiency, and there was rarely any need to engage in long stern chases where extra speed would be critical. Being regularly vectored to a point 2000ft above your enemy and upsun of him with full ammunition and fuel tanks was the key reason why the relatively inexperienced British pilots were able to withstand the onslaught by the highly capable and professional Luftwaffe…

TomR
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 19, 2020 5:09 am

Natural gas has 130 octane rating (a real one).

Gordon A. Dressler
December 16, 2020 8:51 am

Here’s the thing: the UK only produces about 55% of the food consumed in the country . . . it is a net IMPORTER of food. It gets the rest of its food, including may grain foods, from the EU and other foreign countries such as Africa, North and South America, and Asia (ref: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/food-statistics-pocketbook/food-statistics-in-your-pocket-global-and-uk-supply ).

Given that most biofuels in use today result from processing plant grains such as corn, soy, and rapeseed (canola) and plant stalks such as sugar cane, it appears that any plan for the UK military to consider biofuels as a realistic source of fuels for a portion of its aircraft fleet will automatically mean making either (a) that military even more dependent on foreign suppliers in time of war, or (b) bringing on nation-wide hunger in time of war.

John Tillman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 16, 2020 12:04 pm

Soy and canola aren’t grains. Soy beans are legumes and rape seed is in the mustard family.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  John Tillman
December 16, 2020 1:01 pm

JT, you are correct . . . my bad!

John Tillman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 16, 2020 4:34 pm

De nada. Mox nix!

Alasdair Fairbairn
December 16, 2020 8:57 am

I think they will find this all eventually gets written off as a negative saving on the fuel budget.

Olen
December 16, 2020 9:09 am

To quote a movie I can’t remember the title or actor: Its madness, madness.

William Schroeder
Reply to  Olen
December 16, 2020 1:03 pm

I believe the movie was “The Bridge On The River Kwai”, spoken by the British officer when the bridge was blown up near the end of the movie.

John Tillman
Reply to  William Schroeder
December 16, 2020 4:46 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkwyt0ytVJI&ab_channel=Movieclips

Incorrect use of Fairbairn-Sykes commando knife. SOP would have been one hand under the jaw, other hand with knife into the cerebellum through the foramen magnum (Chinese “wind gate”), with vigorous scrambling thereof.

John Tillman
Reply to  William Schroeder
December 16, 2020 4:47 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkwyt0ytVJI&ab_channel=Movieclips

Think “the madness” is from Apocalypse Now.

Rod Evans
December 16, 2020 9:43 am

When your primary duty is to provide protection to your country, if the shooting starts, I very much doubt if the environmental status of your killing machines will feature in the deployment decisions too much will it?

beng135
December 16, 2020 9:48 am

Virtue-signalling run amok.

markl
December 16, 2020 11:10 am

No concept of how much fuel is used by jet engines. Even if all the animal fat and vegetable oil went directly to jet fuel there wouldn’t be enough to sustain an air force for even training flights much less combat.

Clyde Spencer
December 16, 2020 12:16 pm

Only slightly off topic, a friend who is still holding the fort back in California, recently informed me that he has been unable to locate any denatured alcohol to buy. It seems the story is that California has banned the sale on some pretext of saving the ozone.

Craig from Oz
December 16, 2020 5:35 pm

A lot of tangent on this topic.

The original article is somewhat misleading in its casual combination of sources.

If you read the Air University article by Major McWilliams that is being used as justification then you will find that McWilliams is being quoted out of context.

His argument is NOT that ‘bio fuel good, use bio fuel’. Instead he is pointing out that the civilian sector is already using biofuel and under the current regulations there is no requirement to label fuel has having ‘bio’ in it.

So, his argument goes, if civil fuel may be bio, and if the Air Force is expecting that they will need to use civil refuelling infrastructure then it is going to be highly likely they will be supplied with bio.

Hence the choices:

A – never use a civil supply chain so you can ensure their is never bio
or
B – ensure all aircraft are approved to run on bio IN CASE they are required to refuel via civilian sources.

He recommends B.

He does not, as far as my quick read could see, suggest that bio be used to replace traditional fuels.

Have a look for yourself. The link is active and there is no paywall.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
December 22, 2020 1:08 pm

That is encouraging, Craig. Thank you for clarifying it.

ScienceABC123
December 16, 2020 5:38 pm

Question: How many French fries have to be deep fried to provide enough biofuel for a Typhoon to fly for one hour?

u.k.(us)
December 16, 2020 7:25 pm

Get a USAF missile within 50 miles of an enemy aircraft and it is game over.
Talk about air superiority.
I imagine the pilots would rather be burning kerosene though.

Marzouk
December 16, 2020 10:39 pm

Await carbon neutral bombers.

RoHa
December 16, 2020 11:37 pm

I cannot imagine the UK running out of chip fat.

December 17, 2020 3:42 am

Perhaps the Brits are anticipating looming food gluts, due, in part, to rising CO2 levels. Elevated CO2 (eCO2) improves crop yields through “CO2 fertilization,” making food more plentiful. eCO2 is highly beneficial for all major crops, and it is one of the reasons for improving grain yields:

https://ourworldindata.org/crop-yields

We’ve got to do something with all that extra food.

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TomR
December 17, 2020 7:47 am

“Sorry, we can’t attack you yet – it’s before the harvest of biofuels”

Tom Morrow
December 17, 2020 8:05 am

Sad to report, upon reading this my first thought was to change Alex’s insult of Billy-boy (A Clockwork Orange) to “thou globby bottle of cheap, stinking chip-oil aviation fuel.”

ResourceGuy
December 17, 2020 9:49 am

Is that Putin I hear laughing uncontrollably gain?

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