LONDON – Pratt & Whitney Canada and aircraft manufacturer ATR, are partnering to prepare certain Pratt and Whitney equipped regional aircraft ATR to operate on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The collaboration specifically focuses on ATR regional aircraft equipped with PW127 series engines, including the new PW127XT.
The aim is for ATR to achieve certification for 100% SAF operation for its ATR 42 and 72 aircraft by 2025. All Pratt & Whitney engines are currently certified for operation on a 50% part blend of sustainable aviation fuel.
“Our collaboration with ATR will be underway throughout 2023 and 2024 and builds on our recent 100% SAF test flight with Braathens Regional Airlines, which was an industry first for regional aviation,” said Anthony Rossi, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Pratt & Whitney Canada.
“Alongside our efforts to continually enhance aircraft engine efficiency, SAF has a critical role to play on the journey to achieve the aviation industry’s goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.”
“While all Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have already been certified for 50% SAF blends for more than a decade, ensuring readiness to operate with 100% SAF blends in future will allow us to maximise their potential for decarbonisation.”
Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “It is our collective responsibility as an industry to continue taking action to ensure that the vital connections provided by our aircraft across the globe are operated sustainably.”
“We have recently demonstrated with our collaborators, Braathens Regional Airlines and Pratt & Whitney Canada, that ATR aircraft are SAF-ready. Now, we need to continue to join forces to increase SAF availability, as part of our common journey towards net-zero.”
In June 2022, ATR, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Braathens Regional Airlines jointly conducted a successful flight test on an ATR 72-600 aircraft with both PW127M engines fuelled exclusively with SAF.
The Canadian aircraft manufacturer has a track record of proactivity with respect to developing green and sustainable operation.
In 2019, an ATR 72-600 became the first ever commercial aircraft to receive Green Financing. The twin turbo prop shorthaul aircraft is recognised as a more sustainable alternative to regional jets and received the financing as an airline wished to replace its ageing fleet of regional jets.
ATR are also deepening their partnership with national flag carrier Air New Zealand, to accelerate the development and introduction of low emission aircraft technology in New Zealand.
Air New Zealand recently developed the “mission next gen aircraft” initiative, as it moves towards replacing its existing Q300 domestic fleet with more sustainable options from 2030.
As a potential stakeholder in the initiative, ATR is currently involved in a feasibility study on its ATR ‘EVO’ concept which has at its heart the concept of net zero carbon emissions.
The development and implementation of green hydrogen fuel and battery hybrid aircraft are also being investigated for implementation in New Zealand.
With respect to their latest announcement of collaboration with Pratt & Whitney, ATR hopes to obtain the 100% SAF certification for its ATR 42 and 72 aircraft by 2025.