Safran Moves Ahead with SAF Testing For Helicopter Engines

 - July 7, 2021, 11:56 AM
Safran plans to introduce sustainable aviation fuel in ground test cells at all of its helicopter engine manufacturing plants. (Photo: Remy Bertand/Safran)

Safran’s helicopter powerplant division is reporting advances in the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for its engines. Last month the French powerplant manufacturer noted the first flight of a rescue helicopter on SAF. The Airbus H145, powered by twin Arriel 2E turbines, flew on a 40 percent SAF blend. The OEM and rotorcraft operator ADAC have agreed to continue studying SAF usage on a daily basis with the helicopter based in Cologne, while Safran is in discussions with other operators on similar tests.

The company also successfully completed a ground test of its Arrano engine on a 38 percent SAF blend derived from used cooking oil at its Bordes facility in southwest France. This is the first step in the company’s intent to run SAF in the test cells at all of its helicopter engine plants. By the end of the year, Safran plans to deploy at least 10 percent SAF blends at all of its French facilities and is eying certification of 100 percent SAF in all of its engines by 2023.

“Reducing CO2 emissions is a collective responsibility that has been embraced by the women and men of Safran,” said Franck Saudo, CEO of the company’s helicopter engine business. “By introducing SAF, and specifically biofuel, to helicopters and at our plants, we are reducing CO2 emissions at both.”