100% SAF study launched

A group of French aviation industry stakeholders has launched the first study of single-aisle aircraft running on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

The Volcan study, taking place in Toulouse, is a collaboration between Airbus, Dassault Aviation, ONERA, the French Ministry of Transports and Safran. Its flight test saw a CFM LEAP-1A engine of an Airbus A319neo test aircraft operate on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) only. Initial results from the ground and flight tests will be available in 2022.

Produced in Normandy, the unblended SAF is provided by Total Energies and made from HEFA (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids), which primarily consists of used cooking oil and other waste fats. Approximately 57 tons of the SAF will be required for the test campaign.

The 100% SAF will also be utilised for compatibility and engine operability studies on the Safran Helicopters Arrano engine used on the Airbus Helicopters H160. These studies are expected to start in 2022.

Airbus, in collaboration with DLR, is responsible for analysing the impact of 100% SAF on ground and in-flight emissions. Safran will focus on compatibility studies related to the fuel system and engine adaptation for commercial and helicopter aircraft and their optimisation for various types of 100% SAF fuels.

ONERA, the French national aerospace research centre, is supporting Airbus and Safran in analysing the compatibility of the fuel with aircraft systems. It will also be in charge of preparing, analysing and interpreting test results for the impact of 100% SAF on emissions and contrail formation.

Dassault Aviation is contributing to the material and equipment compatibility studies and verifying 100% SAF biocontamination susceptibility.