Airbus, Safran, Dassault, Onera, and the French Ministry of Transport jointly announced this morning that they are launching an in-flight study later this year on the compatibility of unblended 100 percent SAF with commercial fixed-wing and helicopter engines and systems. The project—called Volcan (VOL avec Carburants Alternatifs Nouveaux)—will begin by measuring in-flight emissions froman Airbus A320neo burning 100 percent SAF from TotalEnergies.
This follows an announcement from Airbus Helicopters earlier this week that it was creating a SAF User Group to promote the use of biofuels in civil turbine helicopters. “We welcome all helicopter operators, engine manufacturers, fuel system suppliers, energy companies, fuel providers, handling companies, and all other stakeholders in the industry willing to pioneer sustainable aerospace with us,” said Stefan Thomé, Airbus Helicopters’ executive v-p of engineering and chief technical officer. Parties interested in joining the group can contact Airbus by June 20.
On Monday, Safran Helicopter Engines revealed that the German air ambulance service ADAC Luftrettung had flown a mission in an Airbus H145 powered by Safran Arriel 2E engines fueled with a 40 percent blend of SAF cooking oil biofuel from TotalEnergies’ Normandy refinery. Using this type of SAF, ADAC’s fleet could achieve a 33 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, some 6,000 tons, over the course of flights that cumulative measure 1.78 million nm per year. All Safran helicopter engines and Airbus helicopters are certified to operate on up to 50 percent sustainable fuel, including biofuel. The companies have said that their goal is to reach 100 percent.