Gulfstream has used sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) to power a record-breaking flight by its super midsize G280. The Savannah to Van Nuys, California, journey covered 2,243 nm in four hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.85. Flying through headwinds averaging 76 kts, the G280 demonstrated high performance with SAJF.
The record, along with a recent G280 demo flight on SAJF for media members, is part of an industry event designed to promote the development and adoption of SAJF called Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability, at Van Nuys airport. Avfuel supported the event – co-organised by NBAA – by supplying its first full truckload delivery of SAJF.
“Gulfstream has been involved with SAJF since June 2011, when a G450 became the first business jet to cross the Atlantic on a blend of the fuel,” says president Mark Burns. “Since then, we've taken ever-greater steps in supporting sustainability, including securing a dedicated supply of SAJF for our corporate, demonstration and flight test fleet. Our company aircraft have already flown approximately 700,000 nm on the fuel, saving more than 750 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The fuel is not only better for the environment, but using it to set city pair records highlights its performance capabilities. We are now elevating our sustainability commitment by bringing SAJF to our facility at Long Beach.”
Avfuel's manager of alternative fuels Keith Sawyer adds: “Sustainable alternative jet fuel is the future for aviation, both in the commercial landscape and for business aviation. Avfuel is committed to the industry's initiative to meet carbon neutrality goals and has worked diligently in the supply of and logistics for the environmentally-friendly product.”
By mid-2019, Gulfstream expects to offer SAJF to customers using the company's Long Beach facility. It also plans to use the fuel for its large-cabin completion flights departing from Long Beach airport.
The OEM has used a 30/70 blend of low carbon, drop-in SAJF and Jet-A in daily operations at its Savannah headquarters since 2016.
The FAA has confirmed that SAJF is safe to use. It is chemically equivalent to conventional Jet-A and offers the same performance and safety standards. Each gallon of fuel burned achieves more than a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to petroleum-based jet fuel, on a lifecycle basis.
In addition to the goal of carbon-neutral growth by 2020, industry-wide targets laid out by NBAA, GAMA and IBAC include an improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions.
The NBAA also attended the event at Van Nuys. “Business aviation has long led the way in promoting advances aimed at reducing the industry's environmental footprint,” says president and CEO Ed Bolen. “We are proud to celebrate this major industry milestone, and look forward to launching SAJF flights in locations around the world.”
David Coleal, Bombardier president and chair of GAMA's environment committee, concludes: “Our industry is uniquely poised to make a huge, positive difference in the fight against climate change, not by changing how much we fly, but by changing how we fuel. SAJF will enable a future of clean, efficient propulsion in business aviation. Its advantages are real and current; we can benefit from the regular use of SAJF, not just in our lifetime but immediately, starting now.
“We commend the Van Nuys airport community for their historic leadership in not only making SAJF accessible for operators, but also for providing an example for other airports to follow. This is how meaningful change begins.”