Aerion Corp, developer of the AS2, which when completed would be the world’s first supersonic business jet, plans to certify the $120 million aircraft to be able run on pure biofuel, as well as the currently mandated jet-A blends that are seeing increasing use in commercial and business aviation.
According to the Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF), published last year by a consortium of industry organizations including GAMA, NATA, IBAC, NBAA and EBAA, the blend limits are to ensure the appropriate level of compatibility with the aircraft fueling systems, mainly due to ensuring a minimum level of aromatics, which are necessary to maintain the seals in the systems.
“From a technical standpoint, we don’t see any obstacles at this time,” said Gene Holloway, the airframer’s vice president for environmental responsibility. “The modern materials used in today’s seals do not require aromatics to promote proper sealing. Our engine, the GE Affinity, incorporates seals that allow for 100 percent biofuels.”
Holloway pointed out additional benefits from the use of pure biofuel including a significantly lower freezing point and higher energy density for improved operational efficiency and extended range. While the per gallon cost of biofuel is currently six times that of Jet A, Aerion expects that differential will drop considerably as production of (SAJF) ramps up.