ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- Maj. Aaron Jelinek of the Air Force Thunderbirds flies his F-16 upside down, rolls it, thunders past his teammates in breathtaking close charges and joins five other fighter jets in precision formation.
And for the first time in the 58 years of Thunderbird air shows, Jelinek's flight last month was fueled by a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and biofuels.
"Flying is a blast," he said after the show at Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington. As for the biofuels blend, he said: "There is no difference that I can tell."
Biofuels have buzz in the military because the Air Force and the Navy are taking a lead role in creating a U.S. market for them. They've spent the past few years testing and certifying aircraft to run on them. Now they need hundreds of millions of gallons of biofuels to meet the goals they've set for using alternative energy by the end of this decade.