A lot of french fries went into Airbus’ latest sustainability photo op. The planemaker flew its first flight test A380 with one engine burning 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from used cooking oil and other waste fats on two flights last Friday and Monday, putting more than five hours on the carbon neutral clock. “The flight test met all of our requirements, which will enable us to carry out the next phase of the project consisting of specific engine maneuvers,” Airbus test pilot Wolfgang Absmeier said.
The A380 was the third aircraft Airbus has flown on SAF. It earlier used an A319 and an A350 to try it out. All Airbus jets can use up to 50 percent SAF now and the company hopes to have net zero emission jets by 2035. It’s also not finished with that well-used A380 test article. That same first-off-the-line airframe will become the test bed for a hydrogen powered engine. Last December, United Airlines used 100 percent SAF to power one of the engines on a Boeing 737 on a revenue flight.