(01 Nov 2021)
Airbus, Dassault Aviation, ONERA – the French aeronautics,
space and defence research lab, the French Ministry
of Transport and Safran have launched the first in-flight study
of a single-aisle aircraft running on unblended sustainable
aviation fuel (SAF).

During a flight test over the Toulouse
region on 28 October, one CFM LEAP-1A engine of an Airbus A319neo
test aircraft operated on 100% SAF. Initial results from the
ground and flight tests are expected in 2022.

The unblended SAF, provided by Total Energies, is made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA),
which primarily consists of used cooking oil, as well as other
waste fats.

HEFA is made of paraffinic hydrocarbons and is free of
aromatics and sulfur. Approximately 57 tonnes of SAF will be used
for the entire test campaign.

The SAF, produced in Normandy close to Le Havre,
France, will also be utilised for
compatibility and engine operability studies on the Safran
Helicopters Arrano engine used on the Airbus Helicopters H160,
which are expected to start in 2022.

Airbus, in collaboration with DLR, is responsible
for characterising and analysing the impact of 100% SAF on ground
and in-flight emissions.

Safran focuses on compatibility studies
related to the fuel system and engine adaptation for commercial
and helicopter aircraft and their optimisation for various types
of 100% SAF fuels. Safran will perform LEAP engine ground tests
with 100% SAF at its Villaroche facilities later this year to
complete analysis.

ONERA is supporting Airbus and Safran in analysing the compatibility of the fuel with aircraft systems and
will be in charge of preparing, analysing and interpreting test
results for the impact of 100% SAF on emissions and contrail
formation.

Dassault Aviation is contributing to the material and
equipment compatibility studies and verifying 100% SAF biocontamination susceptibility.

The study – known as VOLCAN (VOL avec Carburants
Alternatifs Nouveaux) – contributes to global decarbonisation
efforts currently underway across the entire aeronautical
industry, and is benefiting from a financing of the France Relance
recovery plan, the part thereof dedicated to the decarbonisation
of aviation, which is implemented by DGAC under the supervision of
Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, French Minister of Transport.

The study’s
ultimate goal is to promote the large-scale deployment and use of
SAF, and certification of 100% SAF for use in single-aisle
commercial aircraft and the new generation of business jets.


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