Virgin Atlantic wins UK permit for 100% sustainable fuel transatlantic flight

Nov. 7, 2023
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority on Monday granted Virgin Atlantic a permit for a transatlantic flight powered only by SAF to showcase how the fuel can be used to decarbonize flying, Reuters reports.

LONDON - Virgin Atlantic will fly from London to New York on Nov. 28 using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), after Britain gave it permission, paving the way for a world first as airlines step up efforts to decarbonize travel, Reuters reports. Continue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

7 November 2023 - The world’s first 100% SAF flight travel across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York JFK on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, set to take off on 28 November 2023.

In addition to the test, fuel suppliers Air bp and Virent have been announced to supply the 60 tons of SAF to be used in the world first, supporting consortium research, testing and the flight itself. The SAF will be produced through the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) pathway as well as synthetic aromatic kerosene (SAK) SAF at an 88% and 12% blend ratio.

SAF typically delivers CO2 lifecycle emissions savings of more than 70% whilst performing like the traditional jet fuel it replaces. SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation’s decarbonisation and pathway to Net Zero 2050. Today, SAF represents less than 0.1% of jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow for just a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The one-off Virgin Atlantic flight in November will demonstrate the potential of SAF as a 100% drop-in replacement for fossil fuel today.

Related: Embraer completes sustainable aviation fuel flight tests on Phenom 300E and Praetor 600 jets

Related: New Rolls-Royce engine for hybrid-electric flight completes successful first fuel burn

Related: Boeing, NASA, United Airlines to test sustainable aviation fuel benefits

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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