Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., recently finalized a three-year agreement that provides Gulfstream with a consistent supply of renewable fuels for its daily flight operations in Savannah.
The fuel is a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel and Jet-A. It provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel and requires no changes to factory-standard engines or aircraft. Each gallon of renewable fuel burned is expected to achieve a more than 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to petroleum-based jet fuel, on a lifecycle basis.
"This agreement with World Fuel is a testament to Gulfstream's commitment to sustainability," said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. "We were the first in the business aviation industry to fly our full fleet to the National Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition on renewable fuels, and the Gulfstream G450 was the first business jet to cross the Atlantic using renewable fuels. With this agreement, Gulfstream is expected to become the first business jet manufacturer to use renewable fuels on a day-to-day basis, another step in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and help our industry achieve its sustainability goals."
Gulfstream will initially use renewable fuels on its Airborne Product Support aircraft, which are operated by Gulfstream's Savannah-based Field and Airborne Support Teams (FAST). FAST includes technicians and flight crews who travel on dedicated Gulfstream G150 aircraft to deliver parts and/or people to Gulfstream operators within North America, Central America and the Caribbean. In the last year, airborne FAST crews have completed more than 300 missions.
The fuel will also be used for corporate flights, flight-test aircraft and, eventually, customer aircraft.
The low-carbon, drop-in replacement fuel is derived from agricultural waste and is certified to meet the same industry specifications as petroleum Jet-A. World Fuel will manage the logistics of bringing the renewable fuel to Savannah.
Sustainability certification will be secured through the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials, an international multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together farmers, companies, non-governmental organizations, experts, governments and intergovernmental agencies concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomass production and processing.
Gulfstream's sustainability strategy supports the business aviation industry goals established by the National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturing Association and the International Business Aviation Council. Those goals include carbon-neutral growth by 2020, an improvement in fuel efficiency by an average of 2 percent a year until 2020, and a reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent by 2050 relative to 2005.
In addition to the agreement with World Fuel, Gulfstream's sustainability efforts include investments made in research and development to support greener aircraft operations. The G280 and the flagship G650 and G650ER were designed to decrease their environmental impact through establishing a balance of noise, emissions and fuel consumption. All three aircraft offer best-in-class fuel efficiency with noise and emission levels well below regulations.
Gulfstream's all-new family of aircraft, the G500 and G600, were also designed for enhanced fuel efficiency to help mitigate their environmental impact and lower operating costs. The G500 and G600 are powered by versions of the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 series engine, which delivers excellent fuel efficiency, lower emissions and reduced engine noise. The combination of the new PW800 engines and the Gulfstream-designed wing is expected to result in industry-leading fuel efficiency for both the G500 and G600.