Gulfstream Ups Sustainability Efforts by Introducing Industry-First 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel Flight
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. said it is the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the business jet industry to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The flight took place on a Gulfstream G650 from Gulfstream’s worldwide headquarters in Savannah and was operated in collaboration with engine supplier Rolls-Royce on the G650 BR725 engine.
“At Gulfstream, leading our industry closer to decarbonisation is a long-standing priority, and testing, evaluating, and promoting new developments in SAF takes us another step closer to that goal,” said Mark Burns, president Gulfstream. “We are grateful for our partnership with Rolls-Royce to be able to demonstrate yet another milestone in these efforts.”
Gulfstream's sustainability strategy is built around three pillars: energy and emissions, operations, and culture and learning, and it aligns with industry goals set by the National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the International Business Aviation Council. The targets are a 2% increase in fuel efficiency per year from 2010 to 2020, carbon-neutral growth beginning in 2020, and net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
“Gulfstream has long prioritised sustainable products and practices through innovations in aerodynamics, aircraft technologies, engineering, manufacturing, and infrastructure, as well as in facility operations and our investments in SAF research and development,” said Burns.
The SAF used in the test has two components: HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids), which is produced from waste fat and plant oils by World Energy in Paramount, California, and SAK (Synthesised Aromatic Kerosene), which is made from plant-based sugars by Wisconsin-based Virent Inc.
This is a fully sustainable fuel that is currently being made. It eliminates the need to add more petroleum-based parts and makes it possible for a 100% drop-in SAF that can be used in existing jet engines and infrastructure without any changes. Compared to regular jet fuel, this sustainable fuel could reduce net CO2 emissions over its entire life cycle by as much as 80%, and it might be possible to reduce them even more.