French military helicopter flies on 100% SAF

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France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has carried out the first test flight of an NH90 helicopter with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
During the flight on February 3 from the DGA test centre at Essais en vol in Istres, one of the helicopter’s two RTM322 engines was run on 100% SAF.
The flight was made without any engine modification and the fuel was previously validated during bench testing of an RTM322 in December at Safran Helicopter Engine’s Bordes facility.
Safran Helicopter Engines is working to certify operations with 100% SAF while assessing any operational impact amongst its partners and customers.
Using 100% SAF offers a potential CO2 reduction of 80%. The company’s turbine range is currently certified to run on 50% SAF.
The NH90 flight was made in cooperation with Safran, Airbus Helicopters, and Total Energies.
Total produced the fuel from used cooking oil using hydro processed esters and fatty acids technology, which has a carbon footprint four times smaller than that of fossil fuels and meets the European Union's 65% abatement requirement for sustainable fuels.

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