Rolls-Royce completes 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel test programme

Rolls-Royce has announced that it has successfully completed compatibility testing of 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on all its in-production civil aero engine types.

A ground test on a BR710 engine at the company’s facility in Canada completed the test regime. Other engines tested as part of the programme included the Trent 700 – 1000 range, Trent XWB-84 and 97, Trent 7000, BR725, Pearl 700, Pearl 15 and Pearl 10X.

“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,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce.

SAF testing is set to continue later this month when Trent 1000 engines will power a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Flight 100, the world’s first transatlantic 100 per cent SAF flight. The return flight, on regular jet fuel, will prove the engine can run on either fuel type without engineering changes.

In addition to proving in-production engine compatibility, Rolls-Royce has already ensured its new generation UltraFan engine demonstrator has the same capability. Its first run, earlier this year, was on 100 per cent SAF.

The Virgin Atlantic led consortium, sponsored by the Department for Transport, includes Boeing, Sheffield University, Imperial College London and Rocky Mountain Institute.

All Rolls-Royce in-production civil aero engines are said to already operate on a blend of 50 per cent SAF, and the successful 100 per cent SAF tests will provide further support for a pathway to commercial flights on 100 per cent SAF.