RAF conducts 100% sustainable fuel test flight with Voyager aircraft

British Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager aerial refueling (AAR) aircraft successfully completed first flight demonstration on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Flight tests were conducted with RAF Bryce Norton November 16.

It was a collaborative effort by the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) procurement unit, RAF, together with other industry partners including airbus, Rolls-RoyceAirTanker and fuel supplier Air BP.

The 90-minute test flight was carried out by a combined crew of RAF, Airbus and Rolls-Royce personnel.

This test was a replica of a normal AAR sortie conducted RAF Voyager, the military version of the Airbus A330, over the sky of Oxfordshire, UK.

This allowed participants to demonstrate the future combat capabilities of RAF aircraft using the SAF.

Meanwhile, the Airbus Defense and Space and Commercial Aircraft divisions have been monitoring and managing the aircraft’s performance both in the air and on the ground to prepare it for its final flight using both 100% SAF-powered engines.

The work was carried out in collaboration with the RAF, Airtanker and Rolls-Royce.

Test pilot and captain Jesus Ruiz said: “From the crew’s point of view, the operation of the SAF was ‘transparent’, meaning that no operational differences were observed.

“The test plan was comprehensive and robust and allowed us to compare SAF with JET1, culminating in a flight without a single drop of fossil fuel.”

With the SAF’s capabilities, the RAF can minimize the life-cycle carbon emissions generated by their aircraft while taking a step towards achieving their Net Zero target by 2040.

In March The RAF has made its first successful drone flight using synthetic fuels to support the same Net Zero initiative. RAF conducts 100% sustainable fuel test flight with Voyager aircraft

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