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First 100% SAF engine test in Amsterdam: a step towards sustainable flying

First 100 % SAF engine test in Amsterdam

A step towards sustainable flying

Earlier this year, AFI KLM E&M ran the first ever 100 % sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) test on a CFM56-7B in its engine test cell in Amsterdam Schiphol. The joint initiative between OEM CFM International and the SAF supplier, Neste, illustrates how AFI KLM E&M is driving the industry towards more sustainable aviation with this outstanding achievement.

To reduce its impact on the global warming and avoid further climate change, the global aviation industry has agreed to try to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. To reach this ambitious goal, the industry must significantly reduce its carbon footprint. One of the solutions is to use SAF, a cleaner substitute for conventional jet fuel.


SAF, a sustainable fuel

Made from sustainable resources, SAF can avoid at least 75 % of the total lifecycle of CO2 emissions compared to fossil jet fuel. But today, SAF is not available on a large scale, and its use is approved by the Airworthiness authorities and OEMs only in blends of up to 50 % with conventional jet fuel.

“The use of 100 % SAF in aviation requires ongoing research. The industry needs to run multiple tests so that it can compare it with conventional kerosene, analyze the results and ensure that a richer mix has no impact on engine performance and safety.”

Martijn de Vries

AFI KLM E&M VP Engine Services in Amsterdam


A first ever 100 % SAF engine test

AFI KLM E&M contributed to the industry’s effort of standardizing the use of 100 % SAF by running an inbound test run on a CFM56-7B engine from KLM’s fleet. The result of a close collaboration with the engine-maker CFM International and the SAF supplier Neste, this innovation was conducted in AFI KLM E&M’s test cell at Schiphol East. Two test rounds were carried out: one using standard fuel and the second using 100 % SAF.

“We are the first in the world to have performed a 100 % SAF test on a CFM56-7B engine, which is the most used engine in the world. We measured the engine’s pressure and temperature along with other data and conducted extensive inspections and checks during and after the test run. Draft results show no differences between the traditional test and this 100 % SAF. They are currently being shared with the OEMs and the SAF supplier for further analysis.”

Martijn de Vires

AFI KLM E&M VP Engine Services in Amsterdam

This test is an outstanding achievement for AFI KLM E&M and rewards more than a year of hard work.

“Finding an agreement between all the partners and the local authorities proved to be a difficult path. There were issues in terms of safety and intellectual property. Local authorities were very cautious as they did not know much about this new fuel, and they required many precautions.”

Miranda Oele

Engine Services Programme Manager in Amsterdam


A promising future for the aviation industry

This SAF test was part of a series of initiatives developed by the Air France-KLM Group to become more sustainable: waste reduction; reuse of materials during maintenance; increased electrification of ground equipment; and much more. In the MRO field, AFI KLM E&M wants to be a front-runner in developing the sustainable aviation industry.

“This initiative will help the industry to improve in the future and to reach its net-zero emission target. SAF will not be the only solution for aircraft but one step further in the right direction. The only way to succeed is to continue joining forces with all the industry players.”

Martijn de Vries

AFI KLM E&M VP Engine Services in Amsterdam


The SAF test in figures

- First 100 % SAF test ever run on a CFM56-7B engine - Engine operated for a total of 185 minutes on neat SAF - The SAF used for the test was made from sustainable sources such as cooking oil, allowing less CO2 emissions than regular fuel over its entire lifecycle - 12,810 liters of neat SAF used for the test - At its highest power, the CFM56-7B moves more than 1,000 kg per second through AFI KLM E&M's test tunnel