Flying the Rolls Royce B747 Test Bed – An Experimental Flight with 100% SAF

I traveled to Tucson, Arizona to visit the Rolls Royce Boeing 747 Flying Test Bed (FTB). This special modified B747-200 classic is mounted with three RB211 and one Trent 1000 engine. For the first time, Rolls Royce is using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power their Trent 1000 engine as an experimental flight.

Before the flight, I was given a quick tour of the B747 Flying Test Bed. I met with the Rolls Royce engineering team and pilots onboard, they explained to me the test procedure on the Trent 1000 engine during flight. It will perform acceleration, deceleration, and relight during the 4-hour flight.

After takeoff, I spoke with an expert on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and its current challenge and limitations. After 4 hours, the B747 safely landed back in Tuscon, I met up with the crew again. Can aviation go green? Let's find out!