Safran Helicopter Engines and Bell Textron, have announced a collaboration initiative to explore technical performance and economic impacts of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the Arrius 2R-powered Bell 505 helicopter. A single, dedicated Bell 505 aircraft will conduct flights solely with the use of blended SAF. Both Bell and Safran Helicopter Engines will evaluate engine and aircraft performance data to better assess the collateral benefits associated with the incorporation of SAF, a significant tool being used to reach industry carbon reduction objectives.
With all its engine range already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, the Safran objective is to certify in the coming years the use of 100% SAF, which can potentially result in carbon lifecycle emission reductions by up to 80%. In 2021, Safran conducted a ground test campaign for a Makila 2 running on 100% SAF and followed this with successful flight tests.
Safran Helicopter Engines is strongly committed to reducing carbon emissions at its sites worldwide by incorporating SAF at all its test benches. Since last June, the manufacturer has been using it at every site in France, initially at a level of 10% of total aviation fuel usage, with a target of 50% by 2025. It has also recently deployed SAF to its UK facility at Fareham.