The world’s largest passenger airliner has completed a three-hour flight powered by cooking oil for the first time.
A test model of an Airbus A380 ‘superjumbo’ aircraft, which was filled with 27 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), took off from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse and landed in Nice on Friday last week.
It became the first ever A380 flight to be 100 per cent powered by SAF and the third time an Airbus aircraft has completed the feat over the past year.
The aviation industry has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while the UK Government has set a target of aircraft using 10 per cent SAF by 2030.
The fuel, which cuts CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent, can be made from waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste and non-food crops.
It can also be produced synthetically in a process that captures carbon from the air.
New jet engines can take up to 50 per cent green jet fuel, but Rolls-Royce said its Trent engines could be 100 per cent powered by sustainable fuel by 2023.
Airbus’ A380 double-decker test aircraft MSN 1 took off at 07:43 (GMT) on Friday, March 25, operating one Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on 100 per cent SAF.
This was made in Normandy by TotalEnergies and consisted of Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), free of aromatics and sulphur.
The jet was the third Airbus aircraft type to fly on 100 per cent SAF over the course of 12 months; the first was an Airbus A350 in March 2021 followed by an A319neo single-aisle aircraft in October 2021.