news & Things

RAF Completes First Drone Flight Powered By Synthetic Fuel

04th Apr 2022

The Royal Air Force has successfully flown a four-metre drone with synthetic fuel, marking a milestone in the international collaboration between UK and US for alternative fuel.

The work was done under Project Vermeer and this flight marks a groundbreaking advancement in their work to develop synthetic kerosene: an entirely fossil fuel-free aviation fuel.

It is made by mixing raw materials with high sugar levels, such as food waste, with bacteria to create an oil substance that is then converted into aviation fuel using chemicals and heat.

Not only is synthetic kerosene entirely fossil fuel-free, it also doesn’t require large infrastructure to create, and the fact it can be made anywhere only adds to the military interest in its development.

Sustainability has been a commitment of the RAF and this development solidifies that promise to invest in a sustainable future, as the significantly reduced carbon footprint of synthetic kerosene can be used across all platforms from remotely piloted air systems to fighter jets.


“This is an exciting moment for the RAF and British industry as they continue to develop pioneering solutions to help address climate change. These new approaches will maintain our world-class fighting forces whilst reducing our carbon footprint.”

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin


“The RAF needs to ensure that we are at the forefront of technology to safeguard our own resilience and operational capability, whilst minimising our damage to the environment. Fuel scarcity and cost will only ever increase in its impact on our operations and synthetic fuels for our aircraft are one potential solution to this situation as we look to secure the objectives of the next generation RAF of tomorrow.”

Air Vice Marshal Lincoln Taylor

Valuable data has been provided that shows the synthetic fuel performs to a high standard, following the creation of 15 litre of fuel in laboratory conditions and subsequent engine and flight testing, a ground-breaking discovery for British company C3 Biotechnologies and the US Navy.


It is exciting and game-changing to work with our allies in the UK to develop a more efficient synthetic aviation fuel.

“The U.S. Navy is committed to finding innovative solutions to operational challenges, and the ability to manufacture this fuel without large infrastructure requirements would be ground-breaking for deployed forces.”

Chief of US Naval Research Rear Adm Lorin C. Selby

The testing isn’t over for the fossil fuel-free fuel, however, as the RAF and partners move on to the next phase of the project which will be to refine the process and develop deployable manufacturing facilities.

We can’t forget though that the real big win for the RAF was their title of Guinness World Record holder following a successful flight on synthetic fuel, won only 4 months ago.

Project Vermeer followed the Integrated Review and Defence command paper and since summer 2021 Project Vermeer has continued to demonstrate the RAF’s ongoing commitment to invest in emerging technology and sustainability.

More news & Things

More news & Things

Chloe Smith in NonProfit

Initiatives Underway to Improve Diversity In Environmental Workforce In The UK

Steps are being taken in the UK’s sustainability and environment professions to address the lack of diversity, as it stands less than 5% of professionals in organisations within the sector identify as being from minority ethnic backgrounds. The steps involve a data drive, asking the UK’s environmental NGOs and charities to annually report on the […]

Chloe Smith in Health Sector

Billions To Be Raised By Health And Social Care Levy, Massive Reforms To Adult Social Care Underway

COVID backlogs and reforms to adult social care underway with the Health and Social Levy implemented to raise billions. The Health and Social Care Levy has commenced from Wednesday 6th April in order to raise the billions needed for the COVID backlog, as well fund reforms to routine services. In total, £39billion will be implemented […]


NATO Identifies Emerging And Disruptive Technologies – UK To Headquarter The Defence Innovation Hub

NATO to implement the DIANA programme to maintain technological advantage: UK and Estonia to partner on the programme. Critical technologies will be seeing transatlantic cooperation, as the UK is set to be the host of the European HQ of the Defence Innovation Accelerator (DIANA), a programme set for NATO allies to accelerate, test, evaluate and […]

Chloe Smith in Transport

New Bus Scheme Set To Increase Public Transport Use by 10%

20% to 40% ticket price reduction on Cornish buses backed by £23.5m government grant A pilot of cut-fare prices has begun in Cornwall, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy cheaper prices around the far south-west of England. The county has benefitted from a ticket price reduction of between 20% and 40% to incentivise more people […]

Chloe Smith in NonProfit

Legal Proceedings Issued After National Lottery Licence Announcement

For the first time since The National Lottery started, Camelot will not be Preferred Applicant for the National Lottery licence.   A legal battle has been issued by National Lottery operator, Camelot, against the Gambling Commission after it was revealed that Allwyn Entertainment UK was its Preferred Applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence – […]

Chloe Smith in Tech

What Is Colocation And Why Are Datacentres Being Built On Sewage Plants?

Datacentres could be made more environmentally friendly if collocated with sewage treatment plants, suggests Tomorrow Water.   The idea is that heated water from a datacentre can be used to boost wastewater processing, and some of the treated water can then become the cooling water for the datacentre. The arrangement cuts the energy process required […]

Send us a Message

    Call cloudThing
    0121 393 4700
    By pressing send you agree to our Terms & Conditions