Virgin Atlantic Conducts World’s First Flight with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9

Virgin Atlantic has carried out the world’s first flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the London Heathrow to New York John F. Kennedy route.

A consortium including Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Imperial College London, the University of Sheffield, ICF, and the Rocky Mountain Institute, in collaboration with the UK Department for Transport, made this possible. The flight was not only to demonstrate the capability of SAF but also to investigate the impact of emissions.

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engines, operated on a blend of SAF supplied by AirBP, consisting of 88% HEFA (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) made from waste oils and fat, along with 12% SAK (synthetic aromatic kerosene) supplied by subsidiary Virent. Current regulations limit the blend rate of SAF to 50%.

The development of the SAF industry in the UK is expected to bring an economic impact of 1.8 billion pounds and over 10,000 jobs by reaching the target of using 10% SAF by 2030.

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