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Tue, 20 December 2022

Gulfstream Tests G650 with 100% SAF-Powered Flight

(20/12/22)  Gulfstream has become the business jet industrys 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 Gulfstreams 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 Inc.

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. Click to enlarge.
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.

Gulfstreams 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.

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