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BOB MOON: High over the Mojave Desert today an Air Force jet will make a bit of history, testing a new alternative jet fuel. The Pentagon hopes to cut its costs. Jason Paur reports the private sector will also be watching.

JASON PAUR: The B-52 bomber will be running two of its eight engines on a blend of jet fuel made partly from natural gas.

Today's test is for the Air Force, but aviation expert Richard Gritta says commercial airlines will be eyeing the results as they look to cut their own fuel costs.

RICHARD GRITTA: The industry has always looked to the military. They develop new materials which of course then get incorporated into new planes which make them more efficient. So there's no question in my mind that they're gonna be looking at what the Air Force does.

Burning more than 3 billion gallons of jet fuel at year, the Air Force accounts for more than 50 percent of the federal government's fuel bill.

It says the goal is to save money and reduce dependency by getting half its fuel from alternative sources by 2016.

I'm Jason Paur for Marketplace.