The A380 recently completed a trial flight while being powered on nothing but cooking oil. The aircraft took off from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse on March 25, being powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (also referred to as SAF) that’s essentially made up of cooking oil and waste. The whole journey was carried out by just one Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.
Airbus then followed up with a second A380 flight, using the same cooking oil fuel, on March 29, flying from Toulouse to Nice. The second flight was to monitor SAF use during take-off and landing.
The fuel used was supplied by TotalEnergies, a company based in France’s Normandy region. It was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which is free of both aromatics and sulfur.
The company hopes to get its aircraft certified to fly on SAF by the end of the decade. Currently, Airbus aircraft can be powered by up to 50% SAF, blended with traditional kerosene.
Airbus plans to bring the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035. SAF, which claims carbon neutrality because of the CO2 absorbed while its organic ingredients are being grown, is already being used in limited amounts by some airlines. But high prices mean that widespread adoption isn’t expected anytime soon.
More recently, Airbus announced that the giant plane would be pressed into service to test an experimental hydrogen-powered engine, another innovation aimed at making flying less environmentally harmful.
According to cnn