Pratt & Whitney to Use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for All Engine Testing

The aero-engine expert wants to use alternative fuel for engine testing and research 7 photos
Photo: Pratt & Whitney
GTF Aircraft EngineGTF Aircraft EngineGTF Aircraft EngineSingle-Aisle AircraftGTF Aircraft EngineSustainable Aviation Fuel
According to Pratt & Whitney, its innovative GTF engine family has already saved operators more than 600 million gallons (2 billion liters) of fuel, avoiding over six million tons of CO2 since 2016. But it doesn’t stop there. The manufacturer is planning to ensure the compatibility of its cutting-edge GTF Advantage with the use of 100% SAF, which will support the goal of zero-emissions air travel by 2050.
One immediate opportunity is to radically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while we continue to improve engine efficiency,” said Graham Webb, Chief Sustainability Officer at Pratt & Whitney. The company has been involved in the testing and certification of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for more than a decade. It’s a known fact that drastic changes towards zero-emissions are more difficult to implement in aviation compared to other mobility sectors and require much more time.

So far, aviation authorities have only approved the use of SAF as a “drop-in fuel” in 50% blends with conventional kerosene. The goal is to obtain approval for the use of 100% SAF for regular commercial flights, which would significantly reduce CO2 levels.

To get there, companies like Pratt & Whitney are taking small but significant steps. One of them is a recent agreement with SAF producer Air bp, which will deliver the green jet fuel needed for engine and propulsion systems testing. Under this contract, the aero-engine expert will receive SAF blends of up to 100%, sufficient for testing its engines until 2024.

This will not only reduce emission levels during the overall testing process but will also contribute to a better understanding of the fuel’s performance.

Pratt & Whitney recently tested the GTF Advantage engine configuration with 100% SAF. This is the most advanced version of the GTF engine designed for the Airbus A320neo family, capable of cutting CO2 emissions by 20%. The GTF Advantage will enter service in 2024, and it’s expected to run entirely on 100% SAF in the near future.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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