Airbus Helicopters and Japanese helicopter operator Nakanihon Air (NNK) have jointly performed Japan’s first helicopter flight using sustainable aviation fuel. 

The test flight took place above Nagoya Airport (NGO) on June 1, 2022, and lasted 30 minutes. It involved one of NNK’s H215s. The H215 twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter is based on the Super Puma military helicopter. 

“The aircraft was fueled with 600 liters of ‘SUSTEO 10’, a renewable jet fuel produced by Japan’s first biofuel manufacturer Euglena, which has met the specifications of both international and Japanese standards of diesel fuels,” explained Airbus Helicopters in a press release. 

The manufacturer said its whole helicopter catalog is certified to fly with up to 50% of SAF, and is working on reaching 100%, which would reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. In November 2021, at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, an Airbus H225 successfully conducted the first-ever helicopter flight with 100% SAF in one of its Safran Makila 2 engines.