Successful tests with fossil-free fuel

Already in 2017, several successful test flights were conducted with aircraft JAS 39 Gripen with a mixture of fossil-free fuel. Continued tests show unchanged performance with the biofuel, as compared to traditional jet fuel.

Testing of fossil-free fuel in the tanks of aircraft JAS 39 Gripen continues. Photo: Jonas Holmberg/Swedish Armed Forces
During the fuel test, conducted at the GKN test cell in the town of Trollhättan, engine function and engine performance were compared. The two tests included one test using 50/50 mix of Swedish biofuel and jet fuel 75; the other comprised of jet fuel only. Photo: GKN
From the left: Håkan Schmidt, GKN, together with Håkan Johansson of the Swedish Armed Forces Sustainability Department and Ingela Bohlin Holmberg, FMV. Photo: GKN

Testing continues and the Swedish Armed Forces is closely following the biofuel project that the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) is conducting together with GKN Aerospace Engine Systems Sweden in Trollhättan. Engine tests have been performed in order to study possible differences in performance and engine function when using a 50/50 mix of biofuel compared to performance in engines using only jet fuel. The tests showed that the engine using biofuel had unchanged performance both regarding thrust power and fuel consumption, as compared to traditional fuel.

“This is an important project for the Swedish Armed Forces’ development activity as Sweden aims to become climate neutral by 2045. The conducted tests are very positive and we look forward to the next step with confidence”, says Brigadier General Gabor Nagy, fighter pilot and head of the Swedish Armed Forces’ Total Defence Department.

The next step entails more testing to be conducted by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) during the first quarter of 2021. Then, the FMV, together with their US cooperation partner USAF/NAVAIR, will evaluate the biofuel project and present a conclusion of the tests. The Swedish Armed Forces will receive the FMV’s final report on the project in 2021.