Rolls Royce Testing
British Airways has partnered with Rolls-Royce in a joint programme supported by the US Federal Aviation Association’s CLEEN (Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise) programme, aimed at enabling the wider use of sustainable fuel within the aviation transport sector. The programme will evaluate novel, sustainable alternative fuels or fuel blends that have the ultimate potential to be included in national and international aviation fuel specifications. The results of the study will be shared with the wider aviation community as part of our aim to further scientific and technical understanding of the potential of sustainable fuels.
Fuels for testing have been selected based on their novelty in terms of end product, process or feedstock relative to fuels currently being certified. Rolls-Royce and British Airways selected eight fuel suppliers to provide fuel samples for laboratory testing.
Following these laboratory tests, a smaller number of fuels will be progressed to rig (scaled up from laboratory tests) tests. These will assess the compatibility of the fuel with aircraft fuel systems, impact on engine operation and the emissions profile. Fuels that pass this stage successfully will then be tested in a Rolls-Royce test-bed facility, using an engine from a British Airways aircraft.
A number of sustainability aspects will be taken into consideration – including the use of natural resources, energy, waste and by-products as well and the impact on engine performance and emissions. The long-term viability and future scalability of the fuels will also be considered.