(20/12/22) Gulfstream has become the business jet
industry’s first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to fly on
100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The G650 flight, powered by
two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, took off from Gulfstream’s
worldwide headquarters in Savannah, USA.
The SAF that was used in the test consists of two
components: HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) – produced
from waste fat and plant oils by low-carbon fuel specialist World
Energy in Paramount, California; and SAK (Synthesized Aromatic
Kerosene) – made from plant-based sugars by Wisconsin-based Virent
The in-development and fully sustainable fuel
eliminates the need for the addition of further petroleum-based
components and enables an 100% drop-in SAF that can be used in
existing jet engines and infrastructure without any modifications.
The Gulfstream G650 flight was powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines using 100% SAF
The fuel has the potential to reduce net CO2 life
cycle emissions by nearly 80% compared with conventional jet fuel,
with the possibility of further reductions.
At present, SAF is
only certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel
and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines.
Dr Joerg Au, Chief Engineer, Business Aviation
and Engineering Director Rolls-Royce Deutschland, said,
“Sustainable aviation fuels are essential for the decarbonisation
of the skies, as they have the potential to significantly reduce
the carbon emissions of aviation and we have already proved they
can be used as a drop-in fuel to power existing engines. This
flight test with Gulfstream is another proof point that
demonstrates the compatibility of our engines with SAF, bringing
us another important step closer to enabling our customers to
achieve net zero carbon emissions.”
Gulfstream’s sustainability strategy encompasses
three pillars — energy and emissions; operations; and culture and
learning. They support industry goals established by the National
Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers
Association and the International Business Aviation Council of a 2% improvement in fuel-efficiency per year from 2010
to 2020; carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onward; and net-zero
carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
“At Gulfstream, leading our industry closer to
decarbonization is a long-standing priority, and testing,
evaluating and promoting new developments in SAF takes us another
step closer to that goal,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Rolls-Royce to be able
to demonstrate yet another milestone in these efforts. Gulfstream
has long prioritized sustainable products and practices through
innovations in aerodynamics, aircraft technologies, engineering,
manufacturing and infrastructure, as well as in facilities
operations and our investments in SAF research and development.”
The BR725-powered G650 aircraft family holds more
than 120 world speed records, including the speed record for the
farthest flight in business aviation history.