Airbus Helicopters in Japan and helicopter operator Nakanihon Air (NNK) have jointly performed the country’s first helicopter flight powered with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
NNK’s H215 helicopter conducted a 30-minute flight at Nagoya Airport in Aichi Prefecture.
The aircraft was fueled with 600 liters of ‘SUSTEO 10’, a renewable jet fuel produced by Japan’s first biofuel manufacturer Euglena, which has met the specifications of both international and Japanese standards of diesel fuels ASTM D1655 and JIS K 2204 respectively. SUSTEO contains 10 per cent of SAF mixed with Jet A-1.
Hajime Futagami, President of Nakanihon Air, said: “The locally produced SAF is an immediate approach towards reducing carbon emissions for the helicopter market. We are looking forward to the continued support from Airbus on our wide-ranging activities in Japan.”
Guillaume Leprince, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan, added: “This SAF-powered flight is an important step in a shared vision we have with stakeholders in the helicopter market and the industry to reduce carbon emissions in the country. The H215 has fully demonstrated its ability and readiness to provide enhanced mission efficiency and performance our customers have come to expect.”
The twin-engine, heavy-lift H215 is a member of the Super Puma helicopter family.
Today, all Airbus helicopters are certified to fly with up to a 50-per-cent blend of SAF mixed with kerosene, with the aim to reach 100 per cent SAF in coordination with engine manufacturers. An Airbus H225 performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100 per cent SAF powering one of the Safran Makila 2 engines in 2021. Helicopter operations with 100 per cent SAF would translate to a reduction of 80 per cent of CO2 emissions.