A Gripen fighter from the Swedish MOD with a GKN RM12 engine powered by 100% renewable biofuel has succesfully completed the first biofuel demonstration flight in a single engine installation on 28 March 2017. The RM12 engine showed an excellent performance both in flight and on the ground. The specific biofuel used (CHCJ-5) is fully interchangeable with normal jet fuel and therefore no engine changes or modifications were needed
GKN Aerospace, Saab and FMV will use this flight to demonstrate the potential of biofuel for military aerospace, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. GKN aerospace is also strongly involved in the Clean Sky programme which is the largest European research programme developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft.
GKN is Type Certificate holder for the RM12 engine and has reviewed fuel specifications and material compatibility for all fuel wetted components in the engine in order to ensure safe engine operation and flight safety. Initial ground tests were performed with an instrumented engine where engine critical data was monitored. Airworthiness was approved for the engine after satisfactory evaluation of measured engine data. Flight tests were then performed where engine performance/operability data again was monitored in real-time through telemetry link. The engine performed excellent both on ground and in flight.
Stefan Oscarsson, GKN Aerospace’s General Manager for Military Engines said: “I am proud that once again GKN Aerospace is demonstrating its pioneering role in the development of sustainable aviation, together with our partners FMV and Saab. This demonstration flight clearly shows that biofuel can be used to power military aviation reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint.”
GKN plc is a global engineering group. It has three divisions; GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline and GKN Powder Metallurgy, which operate in the aerospace and automotive markets. Over 58,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries. GKN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN) and recorded sales of £9.4 billion in the year to 31 December 2016.
GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Light weight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 55 manufacturing locations employing approximately 17,500 people.
Source: Fokker Technologies
Date: Apr 5, 2017