Rolls-Royce has announced the successful completion of compatibility testing of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on all its in-production civil aero engine types.
The final test in this series, which involved a BR710 business jet engine, was conducted at the company’s facility in Canada.
According to the company, the comprehensive test programme included engines such as the Trent 700, Trent 800, Trent 900, Trent 1000, Trent XWB-84, Trent XWB-97, Trent 7000, BR725, Pearl 700, Pearl 15, and Pearl 10X. These tests, which involved a range of ground and flight tests, confirmed that the use of 100% SAF does not impact engine performance.
Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO of Rolls-Royce plc, expressed the significance of this milestone:
“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, according to the company. It’s also further evidence of our commitment to becoming a net zero company by 2050 and supporting our customers to do the same.”
Simon Burr, Group Director of Engineering, Technology and Safety at Rolls-Royce plc, added:
“This is an important milestone, not just for Rolls-Royce, but also for the wider civil aerospace industry. 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.”
Mark Harper, UK Transport Secretary, commented on the broader implications:
“The world’s journey to decarbonising flight is powered by British innovation and backed by the UK Government, meaning people can continue to travel how they want, in a way that’s fit for the future. Today’s news demonstrates that Rolls Royce and the UK are global leaders in decarbonising transport, taking us one step closer to Jet Zero.”
According to Rolls-Royce, its new generation UltraFan engine demonstrator, which also ran earlier this year, is capable of operating on 100% SAF.
The company’s commitment to sustainable aviation will be further showcased in a joint effort with Virgin Atlantic, where Trent 1000 engines will power a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Flight 100, the world’s first transatlantic 100% SAF flight. This project involves a consortium including Boeing, University of Sheffield, Imperial College London, and the Rocky Mountain Institute, sponsored by the Department for Transport.