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NH90 helicopter achieves sustainable fuel milestone

14th February 2023 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The test flight of the NH90 with SAF was preceded by bench testing of the engine. (Photo: DGA)

The sustainable aviation fuel used in the test flight of an NH90 required no modification to the helicopter or its RTM322 engines.

France’s DGA defence procurement agency has carried out the first test flight of an NHI NH90 helicopter with one of its two Safran RTM322 engines running on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

This flight took place on 3 February 2023 at the DGA Essais en vol test centre in Istres, marking a first for a military helicopter with such a high content of SAF, and without any engine modification. The fuel supplied by TotalEnergies meets aviation industry objectives of accelerating decarbonisation without making modifications to aircraft, engine or logistics infrastructure (drop-in fuel).

This was preceded by bench testing at Safran Helicopter Engines' Bordes facility, validating use of this fuel on the RTM322, in December 2022.

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Christian Caneilles, head of heavy helicopter engines programmes at Safran, said: 'This is an important step in our roadmap for the large-scale deployment of SAF, which will kick-start a decarbonisation process within the armed forces to gradually reduce the use of fossil fuels.'

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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