Airbus supports German Air Force transformation to sustainable aviation fuel

Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, handing over a bottle of water to Lt.Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force, as a symbolic gesture of the agreement ©Airbus/Max Leitmeier

Airbus is supporting the German Air Force in its long-term transformation to increase sustainability of its aircraft fleet, working with the Air Force towards providing the Luftwaffe with a technical allowance to commence national A400M flight trials with loads of up to 50% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the near-term. SAF is a proven alternative fuel that can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 85% compared to conventional fuel.

By that, Germany, which has a total of 53 units on order, is becoming the first customer nation to launch a gradual transformation to SAF for its operational A400M fleet.

As a first step, in 2022, Airbus plans a test flight of an A400M aircraft with a fuel load of up to 50% SAF. This initial test flight will be conducted with one engine to better assess the aircraft’s overall behaviour. Upon successful completion of this one-engine flight, Airbus is expecting to continue with four-engine trials in 2023.

Once testing activities are completed on the basis of four engines, the A400M platform will formally be allowed for customers with access to 50% SAF.

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