Emirates and GE Aviation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a program for a test flight of an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER, powered by GE90 engines, using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by the end of 2022.
Currently, SAF approved for use is a blend of petroleum-based Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel and a SAF component with a maximum blend limit of 50%. One of GE’s fuel experts chairs an international task force to develop standardized industry specifications supporting adoption of 100% SAF, which does not require blending with conventional jet fuel.
As a milestone collaboration for both Emirates and GE Aviation, the 100% SAF test flight is expected to demonstrate how wide-body commercial aircraft using jet fuel made from alternative sources can lower lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels with no operational issues.
The demonstration flight also supports both companies’ broader efforts to reduce CO2 emissions as the industry looks to scale up its use of SAF.
Emirates will work closely with regulators to secure approvals for experimental type certification, and will also coordinate with airframe, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on pre-flight and post-flight requirements, in addition to closely working with SAF suppliers on procurement and delivery logistics.