Franco-Italian regional aircraft manufacturer ATR has completed the first flight of a regional aircraft using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a step on the path to commercial aircraft being able to fly with SAF in more than one engine.
The test flight took place in Sweden on June 21, 2022, and involved ATR, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines, and SAF supplier Neste. The ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft flew between Malmö and Bromma, near Stockholm. It was fueled with 100% SAF in both its engines, a first.
“After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era,” said ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli. “The flight represents a true milestone for the entire aviation industry as it shows that this technology works and can be promptly adopted by many in our industry to speed up the transition to low emission aviation.”
The fuel provided by Neste “reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use.”
On May 18, 2022, ATR unveiled plans for a new generation of regional aircraft, the ATR EVO. It will feature hybrid engines, lighter bio-sourced materials, and innovative technologies “to enable significant improvements in performance, economics and sustainability.”