Aircraft

Airbus flies A380 passenger jet on 100% biofuel for the first time

Airbus flies A380 passenger je...
The Airbus A380 recently completed its first flight on 100 percent sustainable fuel
The Airbus A380 recently completed its first flight on 100 percent sustainable fuel
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The Airbus A380 recently completed its first flight on 100 percent sustainable fuel
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The Airbus A380 recently completed its first flight on 100 percent sustainable fuel

As part of a broader push on part of the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint, Airbus has conducted the first ever flight of its giant A380 jumbo jet using 100 percent biofuel. This is the third Airbus aircraft to fly using the sustainable fuel made up of primarily cooking oil, as the company works to certify the technology by the end of the decade.

The aircraft featured in the groundbreaking flight is the Airbus ZEROe Demonstrator, an A380 adapted for use as a flying testbed and one the company plans to also use to test out hydrogen combustion jet engines.

For this particular outing, the aircraft was loaded up with 27 tonnes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), made mostly with cooking oil and waste fats. This powered the A380's Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine across a three-hour test flight out of the Blagnac Airport in Toulouse France on March 28, with a second flight then carrying it all the way to Nice Airport on March 29.

This demonstration follows successful flights of the Airbus A350 and the Airbus A319neo single-aisle plane using SAF last year. Using the biofuel to now power the world's largest passenger jet marks another step forward for the testing program, as Airbus aspires to bring the world's first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

Airbus isn't alone in pursuing cleaner aviation with the help of cooking oil. Way back in 2012, Boeing made the first biofuel-powered Pacific crossing in its 787 Dreamliner using a mix of regular jet fuel and fuel derived mainly from cooking oil. In 2014, it even opened up a biofuel production plant in China based to ensure a consistent supply.

In emphasizing the potential of SAF, Airbus refers to the Waypoint 2050 report put together by collaboration of aviation experts to outline how the industry can achieve decarbonization by midway through the century. That report identifies the deploying of SAF as the single largest opportunity to meet these goals, with the potential to deliver between 53 and 71 percent of the required carbon reductions.

As it stands, all of Airbus' aircraft are certified to fly with a 50 percent SAF-kerosene blend. Airbus aims to achieve certification for 100 percent SAF use by the end of the decade.

Source: Airbus

7 comments
7 comments
doc
Put one mother of an electric fan in there. That will get my attention.
vince
Biofuels are a joke on mankind and reduce food for people by 20% across the globe. Stop with the insanity.
windykites
SAF: Socially Acceptable Fuel. At least, now, the fumes will smell of French Fries! (lol)

I guess the oil can't be recycled for cooking purposes?
FB36
All light vehicles are already becoming electric & all heavy/big land/sea/air vehicles (like trucks & trains & construction/mining/agriculture/military vehicles & ships & aircraft) just need us to start producing biodiesel/biofuel at large scales from all possible industrial/agricultural/forestry waste/biomass & even trash & sewage!
rpark
...The exhaust probably smells like french fries .. oil may have been derived from algae growth ?
1stClassOPP
So, do the contrails of the engines consist of micro bio oil droplets, and could we expect it to rain cooking oil in the near future? There must be some type of residual outcomes from the burning of any fuel, right?

MattII
@vince, they are indeed a complete waste, and a harmful one at that.

@FB36, no! No no no! Biofuel is inefficient to produce, and dangerous to the environment (due to how much land is needed to produce it). Best get rid of it, and find another option.