Safran Helicopter Engines completed a first at its Bordes site, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France. In this campaign they used a 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). A Makila 2 ran on a biofuel produced by TotalEnergies in this campaign. This is from residues and waste from the circular economy, especially cooking oil.
This is a test campaign, that has evaluated the operational impact of using only SAF on a helicopter engine. A Safran Tech special facility known as “Bearcat” (Banc d’Essai Avancé pour la Recherche en Combustion et Aérothermique des Turbomachines) had been used by the engine manufacturer. Franck Saudo, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines said that after the first flight of a rescue helicopter using 40% SAF in June, and the fuel’s gradual introduction for engine tests at their sites since July, they are now taking a new step towards using fuel made entirely from renewable sources. The use of sustainable fuels among helicopter operators is a promising lever to reduce CO2 emissions. Virginie Merini, Senior Vice President, Renewable Fuels at TotalEnergies said that by offering their customers like Safran sustainable aviation biofuels, they are meeting a strong demand from the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint. TotalEnergies’ multi-energy strategy has a main thrust towards developing these bio fuels. This is to meet the challenge of decarbonizing. The Company has a climate change ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and these are all the steps for it. Safran engines are certified to operate with up to 50% SAF.