ATR: First flight in history with 100% SAF

STOCKHOLM – Today, aircraft manufacturer ATR, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplier Neste collaborated to enable the first-ever 100% SAF-powered test flight on a commercial regional aircraft.

When used in neat form Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80%* compared to fossil jet fuel use.

Historic flight

Today is a historic day for aviation. After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era. In recent months, we carried out a series of successful flights with sustainable fuel in one engine. We now decided it was time to perform the first test flight with 100% SAF in both engines. This helps us to certify our aircraft to fly solely on sustainable fuels faster. IT also enable more sustainable connections as a result. The flight represents a true milestone for the entire aviation industry. It shows that this technology works and can be promptly adopted by many in our industry. This must to speed up the transition to low emission aviation

said Stefano Bortoli, ATR CEO.

This historic test flight took place in Sweden and is part of the 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certification process of ATR aircraft that started in September 2021 in cooperation with Braathens and Neste and should be completed by 2025.

It has been the latest in a series of successful ground and flight tests on the ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft performed at the beginning of 2022, including flights with 100% SAF in one engine.

Today it was the first time it was done with 100% SAF in two engines.

SAF – key role in aviation

SAF plays a key role in achieving aviation’s emission reduction goals. When used in neat form, at 100% concentration as on this test flight, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80%* compared to fossil jet fuel use. It provides additionally non-CO2 benefits through significantly reduced particulate emissions, among others. As a drop-in fuel, it can be used in existing aircraft engines and is compatible with current airport fuel infrastructure. Test flights like this show it is possible to safely fly on 100% SAF. It will help accelerate the adoption of SAF in aviation

said Jonathan Wood, Neste’s Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation.

As a leading Swedish domestic airline our sustainability focus started long before any other airline, and this milestone is one of the main pillars and represents a real innovation for the industry. It proved that 100% SAF is the most immediate and effective option we have to reduce CO2 emissions and move faster to a decarbonized industry

stated Per G Braathen, Chairman of Braathens Regional Airlines.

Achieving this milestone was also made possible by Swedavia enabling the SAF to be uplifted to the ATR aircraft at Malmo airport and Pratt & Whitney, closely working together with ATR and Braathens in the preparations of this milestone flight.

This milestone affirms the opportunity that SAF plays in the aviation industry. It is indicative of the strong commitment Pratt & Whitney has made to powering more sustainable aviation. We have worked closely with ATR and Braathens to ensure today’s successful flight test with 100% SAF

said Maria Della Posta, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Transition to net zero CO2

Today’s flight is proof that speeding up the transition to net-zero carbon emissions can only be achieved when all stakeholders within aviation work closely together.

It is a milestone not just for Sweden but globally showing that the technology is available. This has significant benefits to aviation, now and in the future.

Chief ATR pilot Cyril Cizabuiroz, Jean-Pierre Marre, co-pilot, and Pascal Daussin, Flight Test Mechanic, flew the Braathens’ aircraft from Malmo to Bromma near Stockholm. The flight took around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The results of today’s flight will be analyzed and released at a later date.

* Calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, such as the CORSIA methodology.

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