ATR plane performs first flight with 100% sustainable fuel in tanks

Image: ATR

On Tuesday (21), regional aircraft manufacturer ATR, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplier Neste collaborated to complete the first “100% SAF” test flight on a regional commercial aircraft. In this case, one of the tanks was completely full of sustainable fuel..

This historic test flight took place in Sweden and is part of the 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certification process for ATR aircraft, which began in September 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2025. It was the latest in a series of successful ground and flight tests on the ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft carried out in 2022, including flights with 100% SAF on one engine, and today was the first time it was done with 100% SAF on two engines.

When used in its pure form, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to using fossil aviation fuel.

Image: ATR

ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli said: “Today is a historic day for aviation. After more than a century of commercial kerosene-powered flight, we are at the dawn of a new era. Over the past few months, we’ve had a number of successful flights with sustainable fuel in one engine. We have now decided that it was time to perform the first test flight with 100% SAF on both engines. This helps us certify our aircraft to fly only on sustainable fuels faster and allow for more sustainable connections as a result. The flight represents a true milestone for the entire aviation industry as it shows that this technology works and can be readily adopted by many in our industry to accelerate the transition to low-emission aviation.”

“SAF plays a key role in achieving aviation emission reduction targets”, said Jonathan Wood, vice president of Neste Europe, Renewable Aviation. “As a drop-in fuel, it can be used in existing aircraft engines and is compatible with current airport fuel infrastructure. Test flights like this show that it is possible to fly safely at 100% SAF and help accelerate the adoption of SAF in aviation.”

Image: ATR

For ATR, today’s flight is proof that accelerating the transition to net zero carbon emissions can only be achieved when all aviation stakeholders work together. It is a milestone not just for Sweden but globally, showing that the technology is available and brings significant benefits to aviation, now and in the future.

ATR chief pilot Cyril Cizabuiroz, Jean-Pierre Marre, co-pilot, and Pascal Daussin, flight test mechanic, flew the Braathens aircraft from Malmo, a coastal city in southern Sweden, to Bromma, near Stockholm. , which took about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The results of today’s flight will be analyzed and released later.

Image: ATR

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