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Rolls-Royce successfully completes 100% SAF test program on all in-production civil aero engines

Rolls-Royce successfully completed compatibility testing of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on all its in-production civil aero engine types. This fulfils a commitment, made in 2021, to demonstrate there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF.


A ground test on a BR710 business jet engine at the company’s facility in Canada completed the test regime. Other engines tested as part of the programme were: Trent 700, Trent 800, Trent 900, Trent 1000, Trent XWB-84, Trent XWB-97, Trent 7000, BR725, Pearl 700, Pearl 15 and Pearl 10X.

Testing has involved a variety of ground and flight tests to replicate in-service conditions. All the tests confirmed the use of 100% SAF does not affect engine performance.

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. It’s also further evidence of our commitment to becoming a net zero company by 2050 and supporting our customers to do the same.

—Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce plc

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% SAF.

The Rolls-Royce SAF story continues later this month when Trent 1000 engines will power a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Flight 100, the world’s first transatlantic 100% SAF flight. The Virgin Atlantic led consortium, sponsored by the Department for Transport, includes Boeing, University of Sheffield, Imperial College London and Rocky Mountain Institute. The return flight, on regular jet fuel, will prove the engine and aircraft can run on either fuel type without engineering changes.

When the lifecycle of SAF is taken into consideration, IATA (International Air Transport Association) estimates the net CO2 lifecycle emissions of unblended SAFs are up to 80% lower than conventional fuel.

Rolls-Royce estimates that to reach Net Zero flying by 2050, a combination of highly-efficient latest-generation gas turbines operating on 100% SAF is likely to contribute around 80% of the total solution.

The international standards body for jet fuel, ASTM International, currently permits up to a maximum of 50% SAF to be blended with 50% conventional jet fuel. All Rolls-Royce in-production civil aero engines are already certified to operate on a blend of 50% SAF. The successful 100% SAF tests will provide further support for a pathway to commercial flights on 100% SAF, the company said.


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