Airbus and Royal Air Force achieve sustainable aviation fuel milestone
The RAF and Airbus have carried out the UK’s first 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) flight, using an RAF A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
The flight, conducted in the middle of November, was a joint endeavour between the RAF, Airbus, the UK MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support agency, aircraft leasing company AirTanker and engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, with fuel supplied by Air bp.
The partners conducted a 90-minute flight from RAF Brize Norton. The Voyager was flown by a combined Airbus, RAF and Rolls-Royce flight crew and replicated an air-to-air refuelling sortie.
The MoD noted in an 18 November statement that sustainable aviation fuel – made from waste-based feedstocks, such as used cooking oil – reduces lifecycle carbon emissions on average by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel.
‘Different approaches will suit different platforms and environments. As such, a range of alternative fuel options are being looked at to ensure the UK is at the forefront of this developing technology,’ the MoD added.
Airbus Defence and Space CEO Michael Schoellhorn added: ‘I commend our UK customer for this achievement which helps pave the way for a sustainable reduction of carbon emissions of our military aircraft fleets.
‘Airbus engineers have made a significant contribution to this RAF mission by providing on-the-ground expertise in recent weeks and securing the necessary MoD military flight permits.’
The event marked the first 100% SAF flight of any aircraft type in UK airspace.
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