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Rolls-Royce Joins Boeing and World Energy for Successful 100% SAF Trent 1000 Engine Test Flight

Rolls-Royce, Boeing and World Energy have carried out a successful 747 Flying Testbed flight on a Trent 1000 engine using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The remaining three RB211 engines for the three hour 54 minute flight ran on standard jet fuel.

Rolls-Royce Boeing 747 Flying Testbed - Courtesy Rolls-Royce

On Tuesday (October 19, 2021), Rolls-Royce announced that in partnership with Boeing and World Energy, they have carried out a successful test flight on their Boeing 747 Flying Testbed, with a Trent 1000 engine powered solely by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The remaining three engines were powered by standard jet fuel. The flight departed Tucson Airport in Arizona and flew over New Mexico and Texas before landing three hours and 54 minutes later. Initial indications confirm no engineering issues, providing further proof of SAF’s sustainability for commercial use.

In Tuesday’s announcement, Rolls-Royce’s Director of Product Development and Technology, Simon Burr, said,

“We believe in air travel as a force for cultural good, but we also recognise the need to take action to decarbonise our industry. This flight is another example of collaboration across the value chain to make sure all the aircraft technology solutions are in place to enable a smooth introduction of 100% SAF into our industry.”

Also commenting on the milestone test, Boeing’s Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Sheila Remes, said,

“It is an honour to partner with Rolls-Royce and World Energy on this 100% SAF flight. Its success further illustrates that SAF can fully replace conventional jet fuel over the long term and is a viable renewable energy solution to decarbonise aviation over the next 20-30 years.”

World Energy’s CEO, Gene Gebolys, added,

“As the world’s first and U.S.’s only SAF producer, we’re grateful for the trailblazing work our partners are doing. Rolls-Royce’s work to prove the viability of powering the jet engines they make with the 100% renewable SAF we make lays the groundwork for fossil fuel-free flight. This work is incredibly important, and we applaud and appreciate Rolls-Royce for working with us to do it.”

The latest test is just part of Rolls-Royce’s continued work to pioneer the adoption of 100% SAF, adding to tests previously carried out on Trent XWB and Pearl engines. Last week, the company confirmed that all of their Trent engines will be compatible with SAF by 2023. Currently, aircraft are only certified to run on 50% SAF blended with conventional jet fuel, and Rolls-Royce continues efforts to certify non-blended SAF.

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc has customers in over 150 countries, comprised of more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and over 5,000 power and nuclear customers. During 2020, the company had annual underlying turnover of £11.76 billion, and invested £1.25 billion in research and development. The company also supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which positions Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research. Rolls-Royce is a publicly traded company (LSE:RR, ADR:RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZH69).

Source: Rolls-Royce


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