Airbus has performed its first A380 flight powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Airbus’ A380 test aircraft MSN 1 took off from Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, France for a three-hour flight on Friday, March 25. The flight was operating one Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on 100% SAF.
The SAF was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), free of aromatics and sulphur, and primarily consisting of used cooking oil, as well as other waste fats. A second flight, with the same aircraft, is scheduled to take place from Toulouse to Nice Airport, on March 29 to test the use of SAF during take-off and landing.
This is the third Airbus aircraft type to fly on 100% 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.
Increasing the use of SAF remains a key pathway to achieving the industry’s ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Key statistics outlined in the Waypoint 2050 report indicate that SAF could contribute between 53% and 71% of required carbon reductions.
All Airbus aircraft are currently certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene. The aim is to achieve certification of 100% SAF by the end of this decade.
The A380 aircraft used during the test is the same aircraft recently revealed as Airbus’ ZEROe Demonstrator – a flying testbed for future technologies instrumental to bringing the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.