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An A380 Superjumbo Jet Just Completed A Flight Powered By Cooking Oil

The Airbus A380, a behemoth of the skies, has just completed a trial flight powered on cooking oil and the results are promising!

The test airplane completed a three-hour flight from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse — Airbus’ French headquarters — on 25 March. It was powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel or SAF — majorly made of used cooking oil and waste fats — and operating on a single Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.

Airbus then followed up with a second A380 flight, using the same cooking oil fuel, on March 29, flying from Toulouse to Nice. The second flight was to monitor SAF use during take-off and landing.

The fuel used was supplied by TotalEnergies, a company based in France’s Normandy region. It was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which are free of both aromatics and sulfur.

Airbus has been testing the use of SAF-powered flights for the last year, with an A350 being tested in March 2021, and an A319neo single-aisle aircraft flying on cooking oil in October. Currently, Airbus aircraft can be powered by up to 50% SAF, blended with traditional kerosene.

“Increasing the use of SAF remains a key pathway to achieving the industry’s ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Airbus in a statement. The company claims that flying planes on SAF could net between 53% to 71% of the carbon reductions required to meet that goal.

This aircraft is expected to be launched by 2035.

It was also announced that Airbus’s giant plane would be pressed into service to test an experimental hydrogen-powered engine, another innovation aimed at making flying less environmentally harmful.