Rolls-Royce successfully completes 100% SAF test programme
Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce successfully completes 100% SAF test programme

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed compatibility testing of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on all its in-production civil aero engine types. The testing involved a variety of ground and flight tests to replicate in-service conditions, and all the tests confirmed that the use of 100% SAF does not affect engine performance. The company’s commitment to demonstrate there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF was fulfilled, and this makes Rolls-Royce the first jet engine manufacturer to publicly confirm that all its in-production engines for long-haul aircraft and business jets are compatible with 100% SAF. 

The successful 100% SAF tests will provide further support for a pathway to commercial flights on 100% SAF. When the lifecycle of SAF is taken into consideration, the net CO2 lifecycle emissions of unblended SAFs are up to 80% lower than conventional fuel. To reach net zero flying by 2050, Rolls-Royce estimates that a combination of highly-efficient latest-generation gas turbines operating on 100% SAF is likely to contribute around 80% of the total solution. 

The international standards body for jet fuel, ASTM International, currently permits up to a maximum of 50% SAF to be blended with 50% conventional jet fuel. All Rolls-Royce in-production civil aero engines are already certified to operate on a blend of 50% SAF. 

The Rolls-Royce SAF story continues later this month when Trent 1000 engines will power a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Flight 100, the worldโ€™s first transatlantic 100% SAF flight.