Aerospace Technology
Airbus performs first Beluga flight using sustainable aviation fuel
April 14, 2021
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  • Airbus has enhanced its commitment to reducing its industrial carbon footprint by conducting the first flight of super-transporter Beluga using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

    The aircraft maker conducted the test from its plant in Broughton, UK.

    The company said that the Beluga fleet operating from the plant will initially use a 35% blend of non-fossil derived fuel. This will help cut CO₂ emissions by more than 400t in the coming three months.

    Airbus sustainable aviation fuels project manager Tony Derrien said: “This first flight by a Beluga transporter from Broughton, partially fuelled with SAF, marks an important milestone in Airbus’ ambition to decarbonise its industrial operations.

    “Combined with our ongoing research into the potential for 100% SAF in commercial flights, reducing fossil fuels in our own operations underlines Airbus’ commitment to lessening the impact of our manufacturing footprint and contributing towards a more sustainable future for the aviation sector more generally.”

    The SAF is produced using sustainable feedstocks purchased by Airbus from Air bp.

    Airbus’ north Wales line station leverages the Beluga fleet to supply aircraft wings to its sites in Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen.

    The company’s Hamburg facility was the first European site to use SAF for its cargo activities.

    Beluga Broughton line station manager Andy Owen added: “The progressive deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Airbus’ sites is an essential part of our decarbonisation roadmap. We’re proud that Broughton has become the second Airbus site to introduce SAF in its Beluga-fleet operations.”

    Regulators have currently certified the use of up to 50% SAF on commercial flights.