Pratt & Whitney has successfully tested a GTF Advantage engine with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), another step on the path to allowing aircraft to fly fully using SAF.
The engine manufacturer said the test took place at its facility in West Palm Beach, Florida from March 1, 2022. The GTF Advantage engine, an update of the company’s existing GTF (geared turbofan) that began operations in 2016, is planned to enter service in 2024
“We’re thrilled to have successfully tested the GTF Advantage engine on unblended SAF,” said Graham Webb, chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney, in a statement on March 15, 2022.
“Operation on 100 percent SAF is a key component of the industry’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the completion of these tests get us closer to that goal,” Webb added.
Aircraft engines are currently certified to operate using a 50% blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel. Manufacturers are currently working to get engines certified to run solely on SAF.
For the tests, Pratt & Whitney used Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosine (HEFA-SPK), a type of hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel. The company said it is considered a suitable replacement for conventional jet fuel because it comes from sustainable feedstock.