Civil Helicopters News

Airbus Demonstrates H130 SAF Flights in Australia

Airbus Demonstrates H130 SAF Flights in Australia

Airbus, Safran Helicopter Engines and Microflite have conducted demonstration flights in Australia on an Airbus H130 using blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

This is Australia’s first helicopter flying with biofuels blended with 40% of SAF and 60% of Jet A-1 fuel, according to Airbus. The aircraft, equipped with Safran’s Arriel 2D engine, will fly for 60 minutes from Australia’s Moorabbin Airport during the Avalon Airshow.

Neste says it is the first delivery of the Finland producer’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The demonstration comes as several Asia-Pacific countries try to take steps to decarbonize the aviation sector. Australia has supported the development of SAF by setting up a Jet Zero council.

“Sustainable aviation fuels represent a tangible opportunity for the aviation sector to cut its emissions in the short to medium term and it is encouraging to see that happening first hand,” said The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

“The use of SAF is one of Airbus’ levers to reduce carbon emissions, and we are proud to have achieved this milestone SAF flight with long-standing partners Safran and Microflite,” said Stephen Forshaw, Airbus Chief Representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Helicopter operator Microflite said it is looking forward to transitioning its entire fleet to aircraft powered by SAF or electricity. “This Australian-first use of SAF in a rotary-wing aircraft has been achieved through a collaboration with our valued industry partners, and Microflite is proud of the commitment from Airbus, Safran and Neste to join us in leading a sustainable aviation industry,” said Rodney Higgins, Chief Operating Officer, Microflite.

Cedric Jochum, Managing Director of Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, said the demo flight is an important step for the large-scale development of SAF.

Earlier in February, Bell Textron completed its first flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a Bell 505 in the U.S. state of Texas, making steady progress towards carbon-neutral missions.

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