Embraer, Pratt & Whitney Complete 100 Percent SAF Flight Test

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Embraer and Pratt & Whitney have successfully tested a GTF-powered E195-E2 jet with one engine running on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). According to Embraer, the testing validated that its E-Jets E2 family can fly on both engines with blends of up to 100 percent SAF “without any compromise to safety or performance.” The test program included two days of ground tests followed by a 70-minute flight test.

“The E2 is already the most efficient single aisle aircraft flying today, saving up to 25% CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft,” said Rodrigo Silva e Souza, Embraer Commercial Aviation vice president for strategy and sustainability. “This reduction in emissions can be increased up to an impressive 85% with 100% SAF. Replacement of older aircraft by new generation products and scaling up SAF production are the two most effective actions commercial aviation can take now to achieve a significant reduction in emissions.”

Testing took place at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) and Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB). The SAF used in the tests was hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids synthetic paraffinic kerosene (HEFA-SPK) provided by World Energy. Embraer noted that all of its aircraft and all Pratt & Whitney engines are currently certified to operate on standard Jet A/A1 blended with up to 50 percent SAF.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. It’s all about the green image, isn’t it? At the expense of most everything else.
    SAF in it’s current form is a really bad idea. Derived from tallow (animal fats) from the provider’s press releases. With a famine of unprecedented severity being predicted due to recent low crop yields and European war, consuming products such as this and corn for producing fuels when it could be used for food is…

  2. Nearly half the US corn crop is used to make biofuels instead of food. But only due to EISA 2007 that included horrible blending quotas. SAF will end the same way because no thinking consumers want any party of this – so the eco-terrorists running many governments will attempt to force it on us. Only in America are there leaders with the common sense left who call BS on this. Like Burt Rutan. But they sure aren’t in the WH or Congress. My money is on pure Dino-fuel. Frack everywhere!

    • That objective analysis of the CO2 issue by Burt Rutan ought to be required viewing by everyone, Kent. I summer in rural WI near Oshkosh. Twenty years ago, there were numerous fields laying fallow around here. NOW, nearly every square inch of land is growing field corn for use in “E” fuels. You should see the size of the gigantic ethanol plant not that far west of the Oshkosh (near FISK) airport and the army of trucks bringing the stuff in. In California, everyone wanted windmills and to do away with the nuclear power plants. Suddenly, they realize the windmills are killing birds and there isn’t enough “juice” to run their toasters let alone their Teslas. OH … and solar energy doesn’t work real well at night, either.

    • The “Eco-terrorists” and the “tree huggers” do, Yars. Reality isn’t one of their strong points. Besides, like the Chicago river on St Patricks day, they can dye the stuff green and everyone will live happily ever after.

      Beyond that, I’d like to see an objective and truthful analysis of how much energy it takes to turn their french fry oil into something usable and reliable. Further, I don’t think McDonalds uses enough french fry oil to run the worlds jet fleet for long?

      • You have hit on the key issue, Larry. Crude oil can be efficiently transported though pipelines from oil fields to the refineries. Used cooking oils and beef tallow have to be carried on trucks or rail cars, from the individual restaurants to central terminals and then to the refinery. Corn-based ethanol must, likewise, be carried on trucks, not pipelines. Assuming there is even enough feedstock to supply the demand for widespread use of SAF, the amount of CO2 generated in transporting it from source to end user is likely to exceed any reductions from its use. Oh, and by the way, a gallon of 100% SAF will produce the same amount of CO2 as a gallon of pure Jet-A when it is burned. I don’t have a problem with companies turning a waste product into a useable fuel instead of dumping it in a landfill, but let’s not peddle it as a way to achieve a carbon free future.

  3. These claims of 85 to 100% reduction in carbon emissions are pure BS. Show us truly unbiased scientific and technical analyses that do proper accounting of all the carbon emission sources and you will see this is an impossible claim, just like perpetual motion machines.

  4. SAF and Biodiesel can be made form Botryococcus braunii algae in brackish ponds or in tanks. The US consumed just over 18 billion gallons of jet fuel consumed in 2019, the peak before COVID. It would take 2680 square miles of ponds dedicated to algal growth to provide this. Where will we find the land to do this? There are over 5200 public airports in the US – so that’s half a square mile per airport dedicated to jet fuel production. An unintended consequence – more bird-strikes.

  5. The term “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” makes a great press release. But it is a misnomer.
    By definition, SAF is NOT sustainable, it’s minimum 50% jet fuel.

    SAF is defined by the international standard ASTM D7566-21. This is the standard used by the world including IATA and EASA.

    ASTM are jerks and want $75 just to read a consensus standard (booo!), but I’ll save you a few bucks, just do a google image search on “ASTM D7566 Table 1”
    There in black and white is the fact that SAF is defined as a MINIMUM of 50% jet fuel.

    Also, for me to have a press release claiming using 100% SAF, I can call something with actually only 1% biomass renewables and 99% kerosene “SAF” and still pat myself on the back and blow my own horn, and journalists will take the bait.

    So there is no possible acceptable way to currently run engines on a fuel that that is actually sustainable. The only standard that exists today is so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel which is at least 50% fossil fuel.

    In any event, this is not at all news, according to IATA’s “Guidance Material for
    Sustainable Aviation Fuel Management”, if handled properly, SAF can be used by their member airlines completely interchangeably with jet fuel since at least 2015. Because it’s mostly kero.

    As has been discussed, even if all humans gave up eating and all of the world’s cooking oils, sugar cane, palm, rapeseed, animal lard, corn, used cooking oil, other biomass sources etc. etc. were used for fuel (instead of keeping us alive), we still would only be able to replace a fraction of transportation’s use of fossil fuels. The numbers are not top secret or anything.
    So this is a combination of old news and misleading hope.

  6. Also, go look up the TCDS for the PW engines, their certified allowable fuels are defined in a PW Service Bulletin. If you have access to PW SB’s, you see that since around 2013, (you can see the change notes) PW amended the TCDSs for all of their turbine engines to add so-called SAF (at least 50% kerosene) to approved fuel list
    “Semi-synthetic fuel produced to ASTM D7566 (the international Sustainable Aviation Fuel standard)… is approved for use. ”

    So this is not some earth shattering announcement, according to the certification data, PW showed that SAF worked just fine on their engines ten years ago.