Emirates completes engine ground testing with SAF
The objective of the ground testing and analysis is to demonstrate the capability of the GE90 engine to run on the specially blended 100% SAF without affecting its performance, requiring no modifications to the aircraft systems, or special maintenance procedures on the aircraft or GE90 engine to operate.
The ground test results will now pave the way for the airline’s first experimental test flight using 100% SAF in one engine.
The testing activities involved running one engine on 100% SAF and the other on conventional jet fuel to better analyse the fuel system´s behaviour and performance under each fuel type.
During the ground testing at the Engineering Centre in Dubai, the aircraft first went through its standard pre-inspection activities. After that, the stationary operating testing began by first running the Honeywell 331-500 auxiliary power unit (APU) on 100% SAF.
Emirates has been working with its partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent Inc., a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp, throughout 2022 on SAF fuel blend testing.
The partners have developed a blend with the same qualities and performance characteristics of conventional jet fuel and have collaborated on the technical analysis and operational requirements surrounding ground testing and experimental flight activities.
The results of this initiative will provide additional data and research around synthetic fuel blend components and biofuels, supporting standardisation and future approval of 100% drop-in SAF.