The aviation industry is pushing the boundaries of innovation on various fronts, and sourcing sustainable fuel sources to reduce greenhouse emissions is one of the big ones. Bell Textron has announced it successfully completed a flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in a Bell 505.
The fuel was supplied by Neste, Safran Helicopter Engines developed the Arrius 2R engine, and GKN Aerospace supplied the components and testing needed for the SAF testing.
“Neste is working closely together with forerunners in the aviation industry on verifying that aircraft can run safely on 100 percent SAF. This successful collaboration demonstrates that we are one step closer to enabling the entire aviation industry to take full advantage of 100 percent SAF,” said Jonathan Wood, vice president global commercial and technical, renewable aviation at Neste, in a statement.
This flight makes the 505 the first single-engine helicopter to fly using 100 percent SAF.
“This flight is a monumental achievement for sustainability and decarbonization in the rotorcraft industry,” Michael Thacker, executive vice president of commercial business of Bell said in a release. “Showcasing a single engine aircraft’s flight capabilities with 100 percent SAF signals Bell’s commitment to alternative fuel usage and builds on its sustainability practices in its flight operations.”