Australia’s first helicopter flight using sustainable fuel

Microflite helicopter lands in front of hangar
The helicopter landing at Moorabbin Airport, Australia (Image: Airbus)

Neste, Airbus, Safran Engines and Australian helicopter operator Microflite have jointly operated Australia’s first helicopter flights using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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On this demonstration flight, an Airbus H130 helicopter powered by a Safran Arriel 2D engine used blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by Neste.

SAF provides a more sustainable, renewable alternative to conventional, fossil based jet fuel. This flight, using Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, demonstrates that SAF is a solution available today to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of air travel.

The helicopter took off from Moorabbin Airport near Melbourne, and will be expected to fly for a total of 60 minutes over the next few days, and is fueled with a 40/60 blend of SAF with conventional jet fuel.

Witnessing the SAF demonstration flight launch at the Avalon Airshow, The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government of Australia said, “Sustainable aviation fuels represent a tangible opportunity for the aviation sector to cut its emissions in the short to medium term and it is encouraging to see that happening first hand. Our Jet Zero council will work with industry so that we can see more initiatives like this across Australia.”

Microflite chief operating officer Rodney Higgins said, “As a young and dynamic aviation company with a strong vision to lead excellence in sustainable aviation, we have a fleet of over 20 aircraft conducting passenger, aerial work, and emergency services operations. Our ten-year strategy is to transition our entire fleet to either SAF or electrically powered flight.

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“This Australian-first use of SAF in a rotary-wing aircraft has been achieved through a collaboration with our valued industry partners, and Microflite is proud of the commitment from Airbus, Safran and Neste to join us in leading a sustainable aviation industry.”

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