World record RAF flight shows potential of synthetic fuel, says GlobalData

Following the news that the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Zero Petroleum have won a Guinness World Record for the world’s first successful flight completed using only synthetic fuel;

William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The RAF, in conjunction with Zero Petroleum, completed the world’s longest powered flight using exclusively synthetic fuels. The fuel, known as UL91, was manufactured by extracting hydrogen from water and carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide, using energy generated from renewable sources.

“The use of synthetic fuels in combat scenarios is still a long way from reality due to the energy requirements and pure complexity of creating synthetic fuels. However, this test flight shows that the RAF is making an effort to embrace sustainable fuels. Zero Petroleum is also one of several UK-based companies investing in sustainable fuel solutions.

“*Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is set to be a major trend for the aerospace and defense sector, according to GlobalData, which predicts that government investment will drive its development – despite the relatively slow development of the technology.

“The fuel used in this operation can potentially reduce the production of carbon by up to 90% per flight and joins other RAF efforts, including the establishment of a Net Zero airbase by 2025. This successful flight is a significant move forward for synthetic fuel and shows that the technology will achieve utility for both military and commercial uses.”

*Information taken from GlobalData’s report: ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research

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