A new record was set for the fastest flight between Charleston, South Carolina, and Farnborough, England, at the weekend. A Gulfstream G550, powered by a sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF), covered the 3591 nautical miles in seven hours and 13 minutes, at an average speed of Mach 0.85. The aircraft was stopping in Farnborough for Saturday’s SAJF conference before continuing on to EBACE.

“Our record-breaking flight on the G550 is another example of our aircraft’s continued high performance with SAJF,” said Mark Burns, Gulfstream’s president. “We first used SAJF in June 2011 to cross the Atlantic on a G450 and have used it since 2016 with our corporate, demonstration, customer-support and flight-test aircraft. This is a fuel that we use in Savannah and the fuel that we recommend – and sell – to our customers in Long Beach, California. It is safe, approved, does not hinder aircraft performance and provides a long-term benefit to the environment.”

Gulfstream customers operating from Long Beach Airport will, from this month, be able to regularly buy SAJF sourced from a plant approximately 10 miles from the airport. The fuel is refined in California by World Energy, though the unrefined SAJF is supplied to the plant near Long Beach by World Fuel Services. Gulfstream has been using this supply chain to provide SAJF at Long Beach since March, when it announced its first commercial sale to an operator when 20,000 pounds of SAJF was sold to an unnamed US multinational for use in its G550.

The efforts being made to promote SAJF during EBACE are part of the long-term wider initiative that Burns, in his capacity as chair of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, has been a part of directing. It is only through educating users, operators and the wider world about the potential of sustainable fuels that the sector can hope to make progress. Each company has a part to play, but collective action is vital.

“As an industry,” Burns says, “we must continue to promote SAJF and its benefits and collaborate to find a solution for the infrastructure and economic challenges that impede widespread use of the fuel around the world.”