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Safran, Bell to collaborate on sustainable aviation fuel initiative

March 15, 2022  By Helicopters Staff

(Photo: Bell Textron)

Safran Helicopter Engines and Bell Textron reached a new partnership deal to jointly explore the technical performance and economic impacts of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the Arrius 2R-powered Bell 505, which is primarily built at Bell Textron Canada’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec. A single, dedicated Bell 505 aircraft will conduct flights solely with the use of blended SAF.

Both Bell and Safran Helicopter Engines will evaluate engine and aircraft performance data to better assess the collateral benefits associated with the incorporation of SAF.

“We strongly believe in SAF, as it contributes to significantly reduce CO2 emissions,” said Bruno Bellanger, executive vice president, Programs, Safran Helicopter Engines. “As all our helicopter engines, the Arrius 2R is already certified to operate on up to 50 per cent SAF, and we are fully ready to assist all Bell 505 operators worldwide in their transition from conventional fossil fuels to SAF.”

Safran has publicly announced its objective to certify in the coming years the use of 100 per cent SAF, which, according to the company, can potentially result in carbon lifecycle emissions reductions by up to 80 per cent. In 2021, Safran conducted ground test campaign for a Makila 2 running on 100 per cent SAF and followed this with successful flight tests.


Since last June, Safran Helicopter Engines has been using SAF at every site in France, initially at a level of 10 per cent of total aviation fuel usage, with a target of 50 per cent by 2025. It has also recently deployed SAF to its UK facility at Fareham.


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