Pratt & Whitney has been committed to exploring the potential of synthetic jet fuels for more than 16 years and is a key partner of the U.S. Department of Defense and Air Force in pursuing clean, energy efficient solutions that support U.S. energy independence. We also participate in several international working groups to bring alternative fuels into field use.
In early 2008, our Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine successfully operated using an alternative fuel blend during Phase I ground testing in West Palm Beach, Fla. In 2009, a Pratt & Whitney engine was on the first Japan Airlines test demonstration flight that used biofuel.
A Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 engine powered a biofuel test flight of a U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 2010. This flight test, powered by alternative jet fuel, followed engine ground testing completed at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee. These tests directly support the U.S. Air Force’s goal of acquiring half of its domestic jet fuel requirements from alternate sources by 2016.
The F100-PW-220 is Pratt & Whitney’s second military engine to successfully complete ground and flight tests using biofuels. A C-17 Globemaster III, powered exclusively by four Pratt & Whitney F117 engines, completed testing in August 2010. Similar tests are planned for the F119 in the future.
An Air China Boeing 747 aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 94-inch engines, completed a flight using a sustainable biofuel in October 2011. No modifications to the aircraft or engine were required for the biofuel, which is a “drop-in” replacement for petroleum-based fuel. The flight was completed as part of the Energy Cooperation Program’s Sustainable Biofuel Program, led by Boeing and other industry members, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney.
Pratt & Whitney is aggressively researching and testing alternative fuels for the aviation industry and we will conduct additional ground and flight tests across a range of products. Current plans for testing include commercial, military and business jet engines.