RAF Completes Sustainable Fuel Military Flight - Diversified Communications

GHG Emissions, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 21, 2022

RAF Completes Sustainable Fuel Military Flight

The Royal Air Force flew the UK’s first military air transport flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a first using a military aircraft of its size, and the first of any aircraft type in the UK.

An RAF Voyager, a military variant of an Airbus A330, was powered entirely by 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The flight was a joint endeavor between the RAF, Defence Equipment & Support, and industry partners Airbus, AirTanker, and Rolls-Royce with fuel supplied by Air bp.

The 90-minute flight from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire replicated an air-to-air refueling sortie and was witnessed by senior RAF and industry representatives. 

“Climate change is a transnational challenge that threatens our resilience, our security and our collective prosperity,” said Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, in a statement. “That is why I have set the RAF the ambitious challenge of becoming the world’s first net-zero Air Force by 2040. The way we power our aircraft will be key to meeting that challenge and the RAF is already thinking about how we will operate beyond fossil fuels.

The statement noted that this breakthrough test flight is just one of the ways the RAF is actively working to reduce lifecycle carbon emissions produced by flying its aircraft. Other innovations have included a world-first, record-breaking microlight flight using synthetic fuel, flying an electric aircraft at RAF Cranwell, and creating fuel from genetically modified bacteria.

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