June 23, 2022
First helicopter flight powered solely by sustainable aviation fuel
Airbus completed what it describes as the first ever helicopter flight with 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering both Safran’s Makila 2 engines of an H225.
This flight, which follows the flight of an H225 with one SAF-powered Makila 2 engine in November 2021, is part of the flight campaign aimed at understanding the impact of SAF use on the helicopter’s systems. Tests are expected to continue on other types of helicopters with different fuel and engine architectures with a view to certify the use of 100 per cent SAF by 2030.
“This flight with SAF powering the twin engines of the H225 is an important milestone for the helicopter industry,” said Stefan Thome, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters. “It marks a new stage in our journey to certify the use of 100% SAF in our helicopters, a fact that would mean a reduction of up to 90% in CO2 emissions alone.”
Airbus explains the use of SAF is one of the key levers to achieve its ambition of reducing CO2 emissions from its helicopters by 50 per cent by 2030.
According to the Waypoint 2050 report, the use of SAF in aviation could account for 50-75 per cent of the CO2 reduction needed to reach net carbon emissions by 2050 in the air transport industry.