Airbus and Rolls Royce involved in sustainable air fuel trial
By Sourced Externally
November 30, 2021
In a world first a passenger jet has taken part in test flights with both engines running on sustainable fuel.
The Airbus A350 plane was flying off the south of France when the fuel, made partly from waste products, was used.
It was tested a number of times through both engines in 30-minute spells.
Toby Wells, head of future fuels at Airbus, said data from the flights was “very promising” as the aviation industry looks into ways of reducing its climate impact.
Rolls Royce, Airbus, German research centre DLR and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producer Neste were involved in the test flights that took off from Toulouse.
Cooking oil and animal waste fat made up some of the recycled materials used in the SAF.
A smaller jet flew behind the A350, coming as close as 100 metres at times to monitor emissions.
Experts running the project said fewer particles were released into the atmosphere and they saw indications SAFs could be more efficient than traditional fuels such as kerosene.
“We were really happy to see, as predicted, the particular emissions of the aircraft were much lower when using the 100% SAF,” said Mr Wells, who is based at the Airbus hub in Filton, Bristol.
“These particular emissions lead to the formation of contrails, which have a big contribution to aviation’s climate impact.
“We still have a lot more data to analyse and further tests to perform, but the initial results are very promising.”
Researchers from The University of Manchester and the National Research Council of Canada are also involved in the study, and will be publishing further information about the test flights towards the end of 2022.