Safran and ST Engineering to Study and Advance Use of SAF in Helicopter Engines
Safran Helicopter Engines and the commercial aerospace business of ST Engineering sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to study the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in helicopter engines, with the objective of assisting helicopter operators in their transition to the use of SAF.
Under the MoU, Safran Helicopter Engines and ST Engineering will offer their expertise in engine manufacturing and MRO to promote and help helicopter operators to switch from conventional fossil fuels to SAF. Ground testing of Safran engines using SAF will be performed at ST Engineering’s engine test facilities, while flight tests with participating helicopter operators will be conducted to evaluate the technical and economical performances of the use of SAF on their fleet’s engines.
All Safran’s helicopter engines are currently certified to operate on up to 50% SAF. The objective of the collaboration is to also certify the use of 100% SAF in the coming years, which can potentially result in carbon-emission reduction by up to 80%.
Valerie Patuel, managing director of Safran Helicopter Engines Asia, says, “This agreement strengthens the technical and industrial partnership we have built with ST Engineering over the years. It also marks a key milestone in our common endeavour to transform the aviation industry towards a more sustainable future.”
Tay Eng Guan, vice president and general manager of the commercial aerospace engines arm of ST Engineering, says, “Our latest partnership with Safran combine the expertise and domain knowledge of both companies to study and advance the use of SAF by operators. The partnership also reflects our shared beliefs that aerospace companies must come together in joint efforts to develop robust solutions that can effectively reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.”
Safran Helicopter Engines has set itself the goal of reducing carbon emissions at its sites worldwide by incorporating SAF at all its test benches. Since last June, the manufacturer has been using it at every site in France, initially at a level of 10% of total aviation fuel usage, with a target of 50% by 2025. It has also recently deployed SAF to its UK facility at Fareham.
ST Engineering plays its part for sustainability by leveraging its engineering and technology know-how to develop aerospace solutions that are greener and more eco-conscious. Some of these solutions include its patented EcoPower aircraft engine-wash system which helps operators achieve lower fuel-burn and thereby reduce their carbon footprint and freighter conversions which give new lease of life to retired passenger aircraft.