October 5, 2023

Diamond DA42-VI flying with Sustainable Aviation Fuel for first time

Jon Robinson

A Diamond DA42-VI training aircraft, powered by the Austro Engine AE300, carries out circuit of the aerodrome at Bremen airport. (Photo: Bremen Airport)

A Diamond DA42-VI training aircraft from the European Flight Academy, a brand of Lufthansa Aviation Training GmbH (LAT), on September 23 made a few circuits of the aerodrome at Bremen Airport using Sustainable Aviation Fuel for the first time. Diamond explains the flight was the result of intensive preparation between LAT, Diamond Aircraft, and the engine manufacturer Austro Engine.

Bremen Airport was chosen for this flight, as it counts among the first airports in Germany to stock and refuel with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) provided by World Fuel Services. This SAF is obtained from oil waste, aquatic plants and soil plants in Ghent, Belgium. In a first step, Diamond explains the oils and fats are hydrogenated and then refined in a similar way to fossil fuels.

The event is described as a kickoff for extensive tests with blended SAF. Unblended neat SAF has been proven to generate up to 80 per cent less CO2 emissions than conventional kerosene, explains Diamond., which anticipates increasing availability of ASTM D7566 SAF blends as a drop-in fuel for General Aviation in the coming years. The company plans to release the entire fleet for this fuel mix by the end of 2025. Significant market penetration of SAFs is expected by 2030 and availability of 100% pure SAFs without blending for 2050.

“SAF is the most immediately available key to reducing CO2 emissions in aviation,” said Robert Kremnitzer, Head of Design Organization at Diamond Aircraft Austria. “The majority of the Diamond fleet can benefit directly from using kerosene piston engines. We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate this as a model example through the cooperation with our partner LAT and Bremen Airport, and we are convinced that we will jointly pave the way here.”