Airbus announced it is supporting the German Air Force in their long-term transformation to increase sustainability of its aircraft fleet.
#A400M: Airbus supports German Air Force transformation to sustainable aviation fuel.— Airbus Defence (@AirbusDefence) June 21, 2022
Learn more:https://t.co/qEoRoEyAYm#ILA22 #StrongerTogether #DefenceMatters #PioneeringAerospace pic.twitter.com/nlUnle6zM0
1. Up to 50% SAF
The multinational aerospace corporation is working with the German Air Force towards providing the Luftwaffe with a technical allowance to commence national military flight trials with loads of up to 50% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the near-term.
SAF is a proven alternative fuel that can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 85 percent compared to conventional fuel. With this partnership, Germany, which has a total of 53 units on order, is becoming the first customer nation to launch a gradual transformation to SAF for their operational A400M fleet.
Besides supporting national customer activities, Airbus is also committed to achieving 100% SAF readiness and certification for the A400M.
“The Luftwaffe’s objective is to launch a transformation towards sustainability of their fleet. Their mission is ours. We are gladly supporting these important efforts, not only for the A400M but their entire fleet of Airbus aircraft, ranging from VIP transport to fighter jets,” said Mike Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.
“Switching from petroleum-based kerosene to sustainable fuels plays a big part in aviation’s efforts to cut CO2 emissions.— Airbus Defence (@AirbusDefence) June 21, 2022
Our gov. aircraft are already cleared for SAF.
Working closely with the industry to certify #A400M as well.”
Lt.Gen. Gerhartz, Chief of @Team_Luftwaffe.
Lt.Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force noted the importance of switching from petroleum-based kerosene to sustainable fuels in aviation: “Our government aircraft are already cleared for SAF. Working closely with the industry we are eager to finally certify the A400M as well. Looking into the future we are supporting all activities to introduce SAF for our entire fleet including fast jet aircraft,” said Gerhartz.
2. Test flight
As a first step, in 2022, Airbus plans a test flight of an A400M aircraft with a fuel load of up to 50% SAF. This initial test flight will be conducted with one engine to better assess the aircraft’s overall behaviour. Upon successful completion of this one-engine flight, Airbus is expecting to continue with four engine trials in 2023.
Once testing activities are completed on the basis of four engines, the A400M platform will formally be allowed for customers with access to 50 percent SAF.
Despite a strong commitment, Airbus is conscious that this process will be lengthy, noting that today SAF is not yet fully standardised or tested.
This type of fuel first needs to be assessed technically by the engine manufacturer before we can commence with flight tests to certify the TP 400M engines for 100 percent SAF.Airbus
We are in the preliminary stages for an initial feasibility check,” said Schoellhorn. “This engine-level plan would be integrated with the required flight test activities at Airbus level for final A400M certification.”
Earlier in 2022, Airbus Defence and Space performed the first flight of its C295 Flight Test Bed, a Research & Development project of the European Clean Sky 2, which aims at the use of new technologies and materials to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx reductions.
With the C295, Airbus also aims to conduct a test campaign for flights with 50% SAF in 2022 and 100% SAF in 2023.
Airbus has been working on delivering its ambitions to lead the way in the decarbonisation of the aviation industry having already announced concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft.