Emirates’ Airbus A380 Completes World’s First Flight Powered 100% by Sustainable Fuel

Emirates Airbus A380 taking off powered by SAF

Emirates Airline has successfully completed the world’s first demonstration flight of an Airbus A380 aircraft powered entirely by 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The demo flight was conducted in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Dubai, in collaboration with Airbus, Engine Alliance, Pratt & Whitney, ENOC, Neste, and Virent.

The SAF, a blend of Neste’s HEFA-SPK (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids-synthetic paraffinic kerosene) and Virent’s HDO-SAK (hydrodeoxygenated synthetic aromatic kerosene), was mixed at the facilities within Dubai International Airport. The aircraft carried four tons of SAF and flew with one of its four engines powered entirely by 100% SAF to assess the fuel’s performance. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW980 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) was also operated solely on 100% SAF.

Currently, a 50% blend is the maximum limit for commercial flights. This initiative aims to demonstrate the capabilities and compatibility of SAF, asserting its safety and reliability as a fuel source and also to evaluate the positive effects of 100% SAF on aircraft performance, as part of the industry’s ongoing research efforts to expand understanding.

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