Airbus A30 completes 100% SAF Test

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An Airbus plane powered by used cooking oil and waste fat has completed its first flight. The A380 aircraft took off from Toulouse, in France, and flew for about three hours, according to the aerospace giant, which has a major UK base in Filton.

According to Airbus, the plane’s Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine used 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to fly. SAF is non-fossil derived and is being used to replace traditional fuels in the aviation industry in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Some 27 tonnes of unblended SAF, which primarily consisted of used cooking oil as well as other waste fats, was used for the flight. The SAF was provided by French multinational integrated oil and gas company Total Energies and was produced in Normandy.

A second flight with the same aircraft is scheduled to take place from Toulouse to Nice Airport, on Tuesday (March 29) to test the use of SAF during take-off and landing.

It is the third Airbus aircraft type to fly on 100% SAF over the course of 12 months; the first was an Airbus A350 in March 2021 followed by an A319neo single-aisle aircraft in October last year.

All Airbus aircraft are currently certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene. The aim is to achieve certification of 100% SAF by the end of the decade.

The A380 aircraft used during the test is the same aircraft recently revealed as Airbus’ ZEROe Demonstrator – a flying testbed for future technologies that will be instrumental in bringing the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

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