SAJF (Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel) is the term given to the class of non-petroleum based jet fuels (or blended components) that are currently being researched/pursued in the aviation industry.
SAJFs reduce the net life-cycle carbon dioxide emissions from operations and enhance the sustainability of aviation as they are a superior alternative in relation to environment, social and economic aspects.
As a relatively new concept and to an industry that is reluctant to accept this alternative and to put the SAJFs into their aircraft, Gulfstream are leading the charge. This week Gulfstream flew their G550 from Charlestown, South Carolina to Farnborough, England – powered by SAJF, the Gulfstream G550 made the journey in just seven hours and 13 minutes. A distance of over 3,500 miles. The G550 averaged a speed of MACH 0.85.
Gulfstream President Mark Burns described the alternative as “… safe, approved, does not hinder aircraft performance and provides a long-term benefit to the environment”. Given the positive effects that SAJFs have and given the recent performance of the G550, it is clearly making a name for itself and a trustworthy and beneficial alternative that traditional fuel.
The G550 stopped in Farnborough on its way to this year’s EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition) in Geneva. So far SAJFs have been a hot topic, with Bombardier vice-president Brad Nolen, describing them as “… a drop-in fuel. You can pour it right into your aircraft. All our airplanes, from the manufacturers sitting up here, can take this fuel and when you fly on it, you will notice no difference.” Arguably, they may notice a difference, a potentially better performing aircraft.
It is clear that sustainability and environmental impact are heavy on the agenda for the industry. As Mark Burns said “We must continue to promote SAJF and its benefits and collaborate to find a solution for the infrastructure and economic challenges that impact widespread use of the fuel around the world.”
Gulfstream now have SAJF available for customers to purchase from Long Beach Airport. Although not widely available yet. One thing is certain, the future of aviation has taken a step towards green, and Gulfstream are leading the way.