Aircraft manufacturer ATR, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplier Neste collaborated to enable the first 100% SAF-powered test flight on a commercial regional aircraft.
The historic test flight took place in Sweden and was part of the 100% SAF certification process of ATR aircraft that started in September 2021 in cooperation with Braathens and Neste and should be completed by 2025.
It has been the latest in a series of successful ground and flight tests on the ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft performed this year, including flights with 100% SAF in one engine, and today was the first time it was done with 100% SAF in two engines.
ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli, said: “This is a historic day for aviation. After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era.
“In recent months, we carried out a series of successful flights with sustainable aviation fuel in one engine. We now decided it was time to perform the first test flight with 100% SAF in both engines.
“This helps us to certify our aircraft to fly solely on sustainable aviation fuels faster and to enable 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 promptly adopted by many in our industry to speed up the transition to low-emission aviation.”
“SAF plays a key role in achieving aviation’s emission reduction goals,” said Jonathan Wood, Neste’s vice president Europe, Renewable Aviation. “When used in neat form, at 100% concentration as on this test flight, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use, and provides additionally non-CO2 benefits through significantly reduced particulate emissions, among others.”
Per G Braathen, chairman of Braathens Regional Airlines stated: “As a leading Swedish domestic airline, our sustainability focus started long before any other airline, and this milestone is one of the main pillars and represents a real innovation for the industry. It proved that 100% SAF is the most immediate and effective option we have to reduce CO2 emissions and move faster to a decarbonized industry.”
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