Airbus has achieved green aviation first as the H225 takes off for the first time with both its Safran Makila 2 engines running on 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), typically derived from biomass, including Waste fats, oils and Oil.
The recent test flight is part of Airbus’s policy to reach 100% SAF certification by 2030 for both commercial aircraft and helicopters, and to reduce helicopter carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent without reduction in flight performance.
It follows on from a series of previous Airbus SAF tests, including flight of the H225 with 100 percent SAF in November 2021 and a single engine flight of an A380 jumbo jet in March 2022. The purpose of these flights is not only to demonstrate the ability of the engines to operate at SAF without modification, but also to measure its effect on the aircraft’s systems.
This will be followed by tests on a variety of helicopters using different fuel and engine configurations.
With an aim to reduce aviation carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent on the road to mandatory net-zero targets by 2050, SAFs produce hydrotreated esters and fatty acids (HEFAs) primarily using waste and residues as raw materials. done by the process. These include waste fats, oils and greases; municipal waste; agricultural and forestry waste; captured carbon; and waste gases.
One of the advantages of SAFs is that they are drop-in fuels that are nearly identical to their fossil-fuel-derived counterparts, and are currently legally blended in proportions of up to 50 percent with conventional aviation fuels without engine modifications. resulting in a reduction of up to 85 percent of carbon dioxide emissions over the life cycle of the aircraft.
“This flight with SAF powering the twin engines of the H225 is an important milestone for the helicopter industry. It marks a new phase in our journey to certify the use of 100 percent SAF in our helicopters, A fact that means reductions in CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent alone,” said Stephen Thom, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.