Safran and Bell Textron announced on Wednesday a collaboration to explore the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the Arrius 2R-powered Bell 505 Jetranger X.
A single, dedicated Bell 505 aircraft will conduct flights solely with the use of blended SAF with both Bell and Safran evaluating the engine and aircraft performance to assess the benefits of SAF.
Bruno Bellanger, executive vice president, Programs, Safran Helicopter Engines said: “We strongly believe in SAF, as it contributes to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
"As all our helicopter engines, the Arrius 2R, is already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, and we are fully ready to assist all Bell 505 operators worldwide in their transition from conventional fossil fuels to SAF”.
Doug May, Bell vice president of Customer Experience said the co-operation with Safran was part of the company's program to reduce carbon emissions.
“Bell has championed the usage of SAF as one of our many critical efforts in achieving carbon emission reductions in our rotorcraft operations,” he said. “We look forward to working with Safran Helicopter Engines to gain a comprehensive understanding of SAF incorporation that will inform future aircraft technology and operations and ultimately support greener aviation practices.”
All Safran engines are already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, which it hopes to lift to 100% SAF in the coming years, which the company believes has the potential to reduce carbon lifecycle emissions by up to 80%.
In April last year Bell announced a partnership with the government of Quebec province in Canada to support the Coalition for Greener Aircraft and introduced SAF to its training fleet. In November 2021 Bell flew a demonstrator Bell 525 Relentless on SAF.