Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has contracted GKN Aerospace Sweden to continue biofuel testing of the RM12 turbofan engine.
The biofuel for this test is an ATJ (alcohol to jet)-SKA developed and manufactured by Swedish Biofuels AB. The test is part of a bilateral Biojet-project collaboration between FMV and U.S. Air Force (USAF)/U.S. Navy (USN) Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which started in October 2013 and will be completed in the fall of 2020.
GKN Aerospace Sweden 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 during this test. Performing this test in a test cell will give more in-depth information to see potential differences in engine data compared to earlier flight test results with this 50/50 mix.
In March 2017, a Saab Gripen C/D fighter aircraft with an RM12 engine completed a successful flight demonstration powered by 100% renewable Biofuel, showing excellent performance both in-flight and on the ground. The biofuel used in 2017 (CHCJ-5) was developed by the U.S. company ARA on a NAVAIR contract, and was fully interchangeable with normal jet fuel and approved for a limited flight test. No engine changes or modifications were required for this demonstration.
The 2020 test will demonstrate the capability in the engine test cells, flexibility in measurement systems, designing and feeding fuel to the engine. Both FMV and GKN Aerospace are strongly committed to renewable fuel and reduction of the environmental impact of aerospace. GKN Aerospace is also 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.
Stefan Oscarsson, Vice President for Government and Space Programs at GKN Aerospace said: “This FMV contract will help us build understanding and in depth data, and takes us a further step towards sustainable aviation together with FMV. It’s an exciting milestone in a key growth area for GKN Aerospace.”