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Rolls-Royce says all its commercial aero engines can run on 100% green fuels

1st December 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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UK-based global major propulsion and power systems group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has successfully tested every one of its current production commercial (including business) aircraft engines with 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

This marked the conclusion to a programme which was launched in 2021 and has shown that there are no engine technology constraints to the use of 100% SAF.

“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,” highlighted Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgic. “It’s also further evidence of our commitment to becoming a net-zero company by 2050 and supporting our customers to do the same.”

The engines subjected to the tests were the Trent 700, Trent 800, Trent 900, Trent 1000, Trent XWB-84, Trent XWB-97, Trent 7000, Pearl 15, Pearl 10X, Pearl 700, BR725 and the last engine to be tested, the BR710. The test programme replicated in-service operating conditions, with a mix of ground and flight tests. The company’s next-generation UltraFan demonstrator engine actually made its first test run (earlier this year) using 100% SAF.

“This is an important milestone, not just for Rolls-Royce, but also for the wider civil aerospace industry,” affirmed Rolls-Royce engineering, technology and safety group director Simon Burr. “We hope the success of these tests provides a level of technical validation that supports those who seek to invest in the production of 100% SAF going forward.”

Last month, a Virgin Atlantic airline Boeing 787 Dreamliner, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, made the first transatlantic flight using 100% SAF. On its return flight, the aircraft used conventional jet fuel, to show that the aircraft and engines can use both types of fuel, without needing any engineering changes.

The International Air Transport Association has estimated that use of 100% SAF will reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80%, compared with conventional jet fuels.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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