A move lauded as a step toward reducing the significant environmental impact of aviation is Virgin to fly overseas Boeing 787 powered solely by waste oils and fats from London to New York.
According to IATA, the International Air Transport Association, SAF is an alternative to fossil fuels that uses ingredients like cooking oils and agricultural waste to cut carbon emissions by an average of 80%.
Due to the SAF and the fact that it will offset any emissions through “biochar credits,” payments that support the use of an energy process that results in the safe storage of carbon, the UK government, which contributed funds for the project, claimed in a statement that the transatlantic flight will be completely net zero in terms of carbon output.
They claim that SAF use can still have an impact on the environment and that the air industry is trying to give the impression that it is on the verge of full sustainability rather than its stated goal of halving emission levels in 2005 by 2050.
“The research and results” of the groundbreaking 2023 flight, according to Virgin Atlantic CEO Shari Weiss, “will be a huge step in fast-tracking SAF use across the aviation industry and support the investment, collaboration, and urgency needed to produce SAF at scale.”
The flight will take place sometime in the coming year, although Virgin Atlantic has not yet stated when it will take place.
IATA data indicate that since 2011, more than 450,000 flights have taken to the skies powered, at least in part, by more sustainable flying (SAF). SAF is not a brand-new invention. In early 2022, University College London professor of energy and transport Andreas Schafer told Travel, “There’s no real business case for the sector to invest in it at the moment.”
According to Schafer, “This is critical and very beneficial for the aviation industry, because there is no need to invest in new infrastructure or new aircraft,” and “from that perspective, SAF is excellent.” It is also great for airports because they can use the same storage and fueling infrastructure.
Rolls-Royce, a manufacturer of engines, and plane manufacturer Boeing are also participating in the upcoming flight of Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin’s 787 is introduced with Trent 1000 motors, which Rolls-Royce says have recently been demonstrated to fly with a mix of SAF and customary stream fuel.
Rachel Everard, Head of Sustainability at Rolls-Royce, added that the flight “will have proven that our whole family of Trent engines and business aviation engines are compatible with 100% SAF” by the end of 2023.
Recently, additional high-profile SAF tests have taken place. An Airbus A380 powered by SAF flew for three hours in March 2022. A United Airlines aircraft powered by SAF flew from Chicago to Washington in 2021. World News Spot Live