23 July 2024

GreenAir News

Reporting on aviation and the environment

Gulfstream business jet becomes first to cross the Atlantic on 100% sustainable aviation fuel

A Gulfstream G600 business jet has become the first aircraft to undertake a transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel. The flight on November 19 departed Gulfstream Aerospace’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, landing at Farnborough Airport in the UK six hours and 56 minutes later. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW815GA twin engines were powered by 100% HEFA-based SAF produced by World Energy and delivered by World Fuel Services. Other partners in the flight collaboration included Honeywell, Safran and Eaton. The fuel was notable for a complete absence of aromatic content, normally considered essential for engine performance and safety. World Energy supplied HEFA SAF, which included synthetic aromatics supplied by Virent, for Gulfstream’s first 100% SAF flight of a Rolls-Royce powered G650 in December 2022. Virgin Atlantic is making the first transatlantic flight of a commercial airliner to use 100% SAF in the reverse direction on November 28.

The data collected from the Gulfstream transatlantic flight will help the OEM and its suppliers gauge aircraft compatibility with future low-aromatic renewable fuels, particularly under cold temperatures for extended flight durations, said the company.

“Gulfstream is innovating for a sustainable future,” said Mark Burns, President. “One of the keys to reaching business aviation’s long-term decarbonisation goals is the broad use of SAF in place of fossil-based jet fuel. The completion of this world-class flight helps to advance business aviation’s overarching sustainability mission and create positive environmental impacts for future generations.”

The lack of aromatics in the fuel mix allows for a reduced impact on local air quality, with lower particulate emissions and very low sulphur content, so reducing non-CO2 environmental impacts. To allow the fuel on the transatlantic flight to fly without an aromatics content, Gulfstream obtained an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA and the flight was preceded by ground engine tests.

“With this flight, Gulfstream was willing to push the envelope to show what’s possible. They mobilised resources and personnel to demonstrate the future of sustainable aviation fuel,” commented Adam Klauber, VP Sustainability and Digital Supply Chain at World Energy.

The company said the SAF produced for the G600 flight reduces flight lifecycle emissions by 83% compared to its fossil equivalent. The 17% residual emissions, plus the ground transport emissions, are to be covered by an additional supply of SAF to Los Angeles International Airport. SAF certificates (SAFc), showing ownership of the book & claim credits are supplied to Gulfstream along with the physical SAF environmental document, known as ‘proof of sustainability’. Emissions are therefore eliminated using physical SAF plus the SAFc to reach net zero and so the emission reductions are fully within the aviation sector.

World Energy also supplied 100% SAF for research flights conducted by Boeing and NASA in October to examine the benefits of 100% SAF in reducing contrails during flight.

“These partnerships are in keeping with World Energy’s commitment as a first mover in the industry to advancing knowledge about the performance of SAF, which is a critical tool in decarbonising the hard-to-abate aviation sector,” said a spokesperson for World Energy.

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