Safran has successfully test run one of its Makila 2 helicopter engines on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the French company announced today. For this ground test, Safran used a biofuel from TotalEnergies consisting of used cooking oil.
The test run is the beginning of a campaign Safran is launching to evaluate the operational impact of running a helicopter engine on 100 percent SAF using "Bearcat" (Banc d’Essai Avancé pour la Recherche en Combustion et Aérothermique des Turbomachines), an advanced test bench for turbomachinery combustion and aerothermal testing located at the company’s facility in Bordes, France.
Safran engines are already approved to operate with up to 50 percent SAF. Using 100 percent will lower life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent compared to traditional jet-A, Safran said. "After the first flight of a rescue helicopter using 40 percent SAF in June, and the fuel’s gradual introduction for engine tests at our sites, we are now taking a new step toward using fuel made entirely from renewable sources. These tests are a key step in the realization of future test flights with our helicopter partners,” said Safran Helicopter Engines CEO Franck Saudo.