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Emirates completes engine ground testing with 100% SAF

Sustainable aviation fuel can cut carbon emissions by up to 80%

Emirates completes engine ground testing with 100% SAF
[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

One of Emirates’ GE90 engines on a Boeing 777-300ER powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has successfully passed ground engine testing.

The goal of the ground testing and analysis is to show that the GE90 engine can run in its entirety on the specially mixed SAF without harming its performance, necessitating no changes to the aircraft’s systems or unique maintenance methods for either the Boeing 777-300ER or the GE90 engine.

SAF can cut carbon emissions by up to 80% throughout the fuel’s life.

The aircraft first underwent routine pre-inspection procedures at the Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai before the ground testing began. The Honeywell 331-500 auxiliary power unit (APU) was then run at 100% SAF to start the stationary operation testing.

The engines were then started by loading the APU to their maximum capacity with SAF. The left engine was operated at its maximum power level using the identical settings that will be utilized on the experimental flight. This included operating at maximum speed and intensity during “take-off,” “climb,” and idling settings at complete flight profile durations. 

Emirates, GE Aerospace, and Boeing inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a program for carrying out a test flight utilizing SAF on an Emirates 777-300ER powered by GE90 engines during the Dubai Airshow in 2021.

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