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First test flight of an Airbus H225 helicopter using only SAF in both Makila 2 engines


An Airbus H225 conducted the first ever helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in both its Makila 2 engines from Safran Helicopter Engines. One step closer to decarbonizing the skies!

1er vol d’un hélicoptère Airbus H225 avec 100 % de SAF dans les deux moteurs Makila 2

It’s a first! Airbus announced that it conducted a test flight of an H225 using 100% sustainable aviation fuel, commonly called SAF. 

In November 2021, the aircraft manufacturer had already flown an H225 with only sustainable aviation fuel in one of its tanks. This flight test came on the heels of the test campaign by Safran teams in Bordes. This time, both Makila 2 engines were fueled by SAF.


Aiming for 100% SAF

Such initiatives by equipment manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers represent an important pillar in the strategy to decarbonize aviation. Efforts are accelerating to drive the transition to this type of fuel forwards.

In February 2022, Safran Helicopter Engines and the civil aviation division of ST Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to study the use of SAF in helicopter engines and to help operators use this type of fuel. In March, Safran Helicopter Engines and Bell Textron Inc also signed a partnership to assess the use of SAF in the Bell 505 and its Arrius 2R engine.

Research on plane engines is also progressing at a good rate. After an initial flight in November 2021 by an A319neo with a CFM LEAP-1A engine with 100% SAF in its tank, the test teams at Safran Aircraft Engines conducted a campaign of grounded tests in late February 2022 using a LEAP-1A engine with 100% sustainable fuel. This test involved measuring gas and particles emissions from an engine running on JET A-1, then running on just SAF. The results of these tests conducted as part of the VOLCAN research project will be presented some time in 2022.