Airbus H145 rescue helicopter flew with sustainable aviation fuel

For the first time, an Airbus H145 rescue helicopter took off on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The flight was organized by the non-profit group ADAC Luftrettung in Germany. The H145 is equipped with Arriel 2E engines manufactured by the Safran Group.

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Photo from Airbus

A second-generation biofuel-powered H145 – the aviation sector’s preferred SAF – cuts CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to fossil fuels due to its production from remnant and waste materials from sustainable development discarded cooking oils and fats. As a result, fuel does not affect agricultural food production.

TotalEnergies manufactured the fuel for Munich’s first rescue helicopter mission from their facility in France entirely from spent cooking oil, without using any virgin plant-based oil. With this SAF, the ADAC Luftrettung fleet may accomplish a 33% decrease in CO2 emissions. That corresponds to a CO2 reduction of approximately 6,000 tons every year, with over 50,000 rescue operations and over 3.3 million kilometers flown.

ADAC Luftrettung and Safran Helicopter Engines have a common goal of advancing the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Towards this end, they are initiating an experiment in Cologne with one ADAC rescue aircraft. The initiative will investigate all elements of biofuel utilization on the H145 and begin with a commercial campaign in summer 2021.

Just after the biofuel premiere, Frédéric Bruder and Franck Saudo, managing directors of ADAC Luftrettung and Safran Helicopter Engines, respectively, signed a protracted deal with SAF that calls for raising the biofuel mixture ratio to 100 percent throughout the coming years and consequently publicizing the consumption of synthesized e-fuel, also recognized as Power-to-Liquid (PTL), another fall alternator. PTL pertains to the production of fluid fuels utilizing sustainable electricity, which, together with the usage of biofuels, will enable aviation to move further to climate-neutral aircraft.

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Biofuel is presently authorized and allowed for aviation usage in blends of up to 50% with standard JET-A1 kerosene. According to reports, the ADAC rescue helicopter used a 40% mix.

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