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11-Jun-2021 5:47 AM

French aeronautical sector to operate 100% SAF narrowbody flight by end of 2021

Airbus, Safran, Dassault Aviation, ONERA and the French Ministry of Transport announced (10-Jun-2021) they will jointly launch an inflight study at the end of 2021 to analyse the compatibility of unblended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with narrowbody aircraft and commercial aircraft engine and fuel systems, as well as with helicopter engines. A flight will be made with the support of the Plan de relance aéronautique (French Government aviation recovery plan). Known as VOL avec Carburants Alternatifs Nouveaux (VOLCAN), the project is the first time that inflight emissions will be measured using 100% SAF in a narrowbody aircraft. Details include:

  • Airbus is responsible for characterising and analysing the impact of 100% SAF on ground and inflight emissions using an A320neo test aircraft powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines;
  • Safran will focus 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;
  • ONERA will support 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 will contribute to the material and equipment compatibility studies and verify 100% SAF biocontamination susceptibility;
  • The various SAFs used for the VOLCAN project will be provided by TotalEnergies.

The study will support efforts underway at Airbus and Safran to ensure the aviation sector is ready for the large scale deployment and use of SAF as part of the wider initiative to decarbonise the industry. It will also contribute to the ultimate goal of achieving 100% SAF certification in narrowbody commercial aircraft and the new generation of business jets. [more - original PR - English/French]

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