In a historic landmark for the aviation-fuel industry, the Virgin Atlantic flight has become the first to cross the Atlantic using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The flight was flown on a Boeing 787. The engineers from the University of Sheffield were part of this historic transatlantic flight which took off today, 28 November 2023 from London Heathrow to New York JFK to demonstrate the potential of using SAF on long haul flights, replacing jet fuel and playing a major role in decarbonising the aviation industry.
Sharing a video on a micro-blogging site, UK PM, Rishi Sunak on Instagram writes, "Right now something very exciting is happening in the sky above us."
Contribution of the University of Sheffield:
Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Head of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute and Sheffield’s lead on the flight, said: “It has been a privilege for the University of Sheffield to be part of the truly momentous Flight100.
The University in a statement said, "The facilities we have at Sheffield - including our Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre - are the first of their kind in the UK, so we are thrilled to have been involved in the testing of the emissions profile of the fuel used in this flight, proving that SAF reduces the impact of flying on the planet."
"Joining world-renowned partners like Virgin Atlantic, Boeing and Rolls Royce, the University of Sheffield’s work in this world-first flight means South Yorkshire’s expertise in advanced manufacturing and aerospace innovation has a place on the international stage", added the University.
What CEO of Virgin Atlantic has to say?
On this achievement, Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic said, "Flight 100 marks an important milestone in aviation’s biggest challenge – decarbonisation. It’s taken radical collaboration and we’re proud to have reached this point, but we need to push further."
Dr Marc Stettler, from Imperial's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said, "This is science in action – a unique opportunity to gather experimental data and test SAF use at scale. Although only one data point, Flight100 paves the way for gathering more evidence and ultimately working towards a future of more sustainable flying."
The sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a blend of 88 percent Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) supplied by AirBP and 12 percent Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene (SAK) sourced from Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation.