Rolls-Royce has carried out a successful test flight of its 747 Flying Testbed aircraft using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on a Trent 1000 engine.
Working with Boeing and World Energy the aircraft flew from Tucson airport in Arizona, passing over New Mexico and Texas, with a Trent 1000 engine running solely on 100% SAF while the remaining three RB211 engines ran on standard jet fuel.
Initial indications confirm there were no engineering issues, providing further proof of the fuel’s suitability for commercial use.
Rolls-Royce has continued to pioneer the adoption of 100% SAF. It confirmed that all of its Trent engines will be compatible with 100% SAF by 2023.
The flight was carried out in close collaboration with Boeing, which provided technical support and oversight on aircraft modifications and assurance the aircraft systems would operate as expected with 100% SAF. World Energy, the world’s first and America’s only commercial-scale SAF production company, provided the low-carbon fuel for the flight.
Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, director product development and technology – civil aerospace, said: “We believe in air travel as a force for cultural good, but we also recognise the need to take action to decarbonise our industry. This flight is another example of collaboration across the value chain to make sure all the aircraft technology solutions are in place to enable a smooth introduction of 100% SAF into our industry.”
Sheila Remes, vice president of environmental sustainability, Boeing, said: “It is an honour to partner with Rolls-Royce and World Energy on this 100% SAF flight. Its success further illustrates that SAF can fully replace conventional jet fuel over the long term and is a viable renewable energy solution to decarbonise aviation over the next 20-30 years.”
Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy, said: “As the world’s first and US.’s only SAF producer, we’re grateful for the trailblazing work our partners are doing. Rolls-Royce’s work to prove the viability of powering the jet engines they make with the 100% renewable SAF we make lays the groundwork for fossil fuel-free flight.”
The Rolls-Royce Flying Testbed is used to carry out a variety of engine-related tests that improve efficiency and durability, as well as support our decarbonisation strategy.
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