Rolls-Royce has successfully tested 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a BR710 business jet engine, marking the completion of its compatibility testing programme.

It has now tested SAF on all its in-production civil aero engines, conducting a variety of ground and flight tests to replicate in-service conditions. All the tests confirmed the use of 100% SAF does not affect engine performance.

Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce plc, said, “Becoming the first jet engine manufacturer to publicly confirm all our in-production engines for long-haul aircraft and business jets are compatible with 100% SAF, is an important milestone for both Rolls-Royce and the wider aviation industry.

“It’s also further evidence of our commitment to becoming a net zero company by 2050 and supporting our customers to do the same.”

Rolls-Royce will continue to prove the viability of SAF later this month when Trent 1000 engines will power a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Flight 100, the world’s first transatlantic 100% SAF flight. The return flight, on regular jet fuel, will prove the engine and aircraft can run on either fuel type without engineering changes.

UltraFan testing

The company has also announced it successfully run its UltraFan technology demonstrator to maximum power at its facility in Derby, UK. The initial stage of the test was conducted using 100% SAF.

According to Rolls-Royce, confirming the UltraFan’s SAF capability is a big step towards improving the efficiency of current and future aero-engines. UltraFan delivers a 10% efficiency improvement over the company’s Trent XWB, which is already the world’s most efficient large aero-engine in service.

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