Airbus Puts SAF on Display with A350-1000

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Airbus Puts SAF on Display with A350-1000

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The aircraft is fueled with a 35 percent blend of sustainable aviation fuel

Airbus’ A350-1000 takes to the skies this week during the flying display at the 2024 Singapore Airshow, as the Franco-German manufacturer continues its campaign to promote sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The OEM conducted a refueling demonstration on Sunday at Changi Airport in Singapore, pumping 12.8 tonnes of a 35 percent blend of SAF with conventional jet-A fuel into the widebody. The additional fuel brought the total amount in the A350 to 21.8 tonnes of the SAF blend, enough to accommodate the series of demonstrations during the flying displays throughout the week.

Shell Aviation supplied the fuel under the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification EU requirements and provided through the HEFA-SPK (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids synthetic paraffinic kerosene) pathway, which uses feedstock from cooking oil and tallow.

The demonstration is part of a larger effort to help push the industry toward the adoption of 100 percent SAF. “Airbus is committed to supporting and developing the SAF ecosystem, and this is part of what we are doing,” said Hélène Burger, Airbus’s head of international cooperation and sustainability for the APAC region.

The current availability of SAF represents just a tiny percentage of what the industry eventually will need, Burger explained. He noted the importance of continuing to educate regulators, fuel producers, distributors, and operators about the need for SAF and the safety of its use.

All Airbus aircraft can operate with a blend of up to 50 percent SAF. Testing continues to move toward 100 percent SAF, with which Airbus already has accomplished initial trials on the A380 four-engine model. The company plans an array of tests—from hot to cold weather trials—to demonstrate that 100 percent SAF could become a seamless drop-in.

Airbus has set a target for all of its aircraft to be capable of operating with up to 100 percent SAF by 2030—a critical component of the overarching industry goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. On average, SAF can reduce CO2 emissions by 80 percent over an aircraft’s lifecycle (from production to end use) compared with fossil fuels.

In addition to airshow displays, Airbus already has begun to help its customers transition to SAF by delivering its aircraft with a 5 percent SAF blend at no additional charge.

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