First Helicopter run on 100% recycled cooking oil

Safran Helicopter Engines today performed a world first by running a helicopter engine run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

During the test, a Makila 2 engine ran on a biofuel produced by TotalEnergies from residues and waste from the circular economy, specifically used cooking oil. The test was conducted at its Bordes facility in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France.

A test campaign will now evaluate the operational impact of using only SAF on a helicopter engine. To do this, the engine manufacturer will utilize a Safran Tech special facility known as "Bearcat." an advanced test bench for turbomachinery combustion and aerothermal.

Franck Saudo, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines says, "after the first flight of a rescue helicopter using 40% 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."

"By offering our customers like Safran sustainable aviation biofuels produced in France, we are meeting a strong demand from the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint." said Virginie Merini, Senior Vice President, Renewable Fuels at TotalEnergies.

Safran engines are already certified to operate with up to 50% SAF. With 100% incorporation, the lower carbon footprint of these fuels will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%.