Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - January 25, 2023
Emirates Finishes Engine Testing With SAF
Emirates successfully completed the ground engine testing for one of its GE90 engines on a Boeing 777-300ER using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The objective of the ground testing and analysis is to demonstrate the capability of the GE90 engine to run on the specially blended 100% SAF without affecting its performance, requiring no modifications to the aircraft systems, or special maintenance procedures on the Boeing 777-300ER or GE90 engine to operate, according to an announcement. SAF reduces carbon emissions over the fuel’s life cycle by up to 80%.
The results of the ground test results pave the way for the airline’s first experimental test flight using 100% SAF in one engine, which is due for take-off this week. The testing activities involved running one engine on 100% SAF and the other on conventional jet fuel to better analyze the fuel system´s behavior and performance under each fuel type, compare specific outputs of each engine, and ensure seamless operation of the aircraft’s engine and airframe fuel systems during the planned test flight.
Emirates has been working with its partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent Inc., a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp throughout 2022 on SAF fuel blend testing.
The results of this initiative will provide additional data and research around synthetic fuel blend components and biofuels, supporting standardization and future approval of 100% drop-in SAF. Following the successful trial on one engine, Emirates will then continue to develop these initiatives with the engine airframe manufacturers as well as SAF providers with the goal of certifying these blends for commercial use.
The first Emirates flight powered by SAF blended with jet fuel was in 2017, operating from Chicago O’Hare airport on a Boeing 777. Emirates received its first A380 powered by SAF in December 2020, and uplifted 32 tons of SAF for its flights from Stockholm earlier that year, with the support of Swedavia’s Biofuel Incentive Programme. Flights from Oslo have also begun operating on SAF.