Virgin’s 100% SAF-powered flight scheduled for November

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Virgin Atlantic has announced that the world’s first 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) transatlantic flight will take off on 28 November.
Virgin Atlantic and Rolls-Royce have already completed a successful blend ground test on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, which powers the Boeing 787 aircraft that will make the flight.
Air bp and Virent have also been announced as the suppliers for the 60 tonnes of SAF required for the historic flight.
The SAF will be produced through the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) pathway as well as synthetic aromatic kerosene (SAK) SAF at an 88% and 12% blend ratio.
Virgin Atlantic is committed to finding more sustainable ways to fly on its mission to net-zero 2050.
Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, said: “The 100% SAF transatlantic flight will be a historic moment in aviation’s roadmap to decarbonisation.
“Alongside fleet transformation, SAF is the most readily available way for our industry to decarbonise, but currently there’s not enough supply and without it and the radical collaboration required to produce it, we can’t meet our 2030 targets. We need UK government support to create a UK SAF industry to allow for every single flight out of the UK to operate with 100% SAF – if we make it, we can fly it.”
SAF typically delivers CO2 life cycle emissions savings of more than 70%, while still performing like traditional jet fuel.
Currently SAF represents less than 0.1% of jet fuel volumes and fuel standards only allow for a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The Virgin Atlantic flight in November will demonstrate the potential of SAF as a 100% drop-in replacement for the fossil fuels being used today.

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