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A-400M airplane: Airbus supports German Air Force transformation to SAF

For a technical allowance to commence national flight trials

Airbus is supporting the German Air Force in their long-term transformation to increase sustainability of its aircraft fleet. The industry is working with the Armed Force towards providing the Luftwaffe with a technical allowance to commence national A-400M flight trials with loads of up to 50 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the near-term. It is a proven alternative fuel that can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 85 percent compared to conventional fuel.

By that, Germany, which has a total of 53 units on order, is becoming the first customer nation to launch a gradual transformation to SAF for their operational fleet.

Besides supporting national customer activities, Airbus has embarked on a long-term roadmap towards achieving 100 percent SAF readiness and certification for the model.

As a first step, in 2022, Airbus plans a test flight of an aircraft with a fuel load of up to 50 percent SAF. This initial test flight will be conducted with one engine to better assess the aircraft’s overall behaviour. Upon successful completion of this one-engine flight, the giant is expecting to continue with four engine trials in 2023.

Once testing activities are completed on the basis of four engines, the A-400M platform will formally be allowed for customers with access to 50 percent SAF.

Furthermore, Airbus, OCCAR and the A-400M Nations are engaged in initial discussions to develop the roadmap towards the certification and operational use of 100 percent SAF.

Earlier in 2022, Airbus Defence and Space performed the first flight of its C-295 Flight Test Bed, a Research & Development project of the European "Clean Sky 2", which aims at the use of new technologies and materials to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx reductions. With the C-295, Airbus also aims to conduct a test campaign for flights with 50 percent SAF in 2022 and 100 percent of it in 2023.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency