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SAF used for the first time in Helicopter Flight from Munich

Airbus H145 rescue helicopter was refueled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the air rescue station in Munich.  This is a first-time achievement and a new milestone in international aviation.  ADAC Luftrettung, a nonprofit organization, operates the largest fleet of ambulance helicopters in Germany and has flown more than 54,000 missions.

The Airbus H145 rescue helicopter had its Arriel 2E engines refueled with SAF at the air rescue station at Munich's Harlaching Clinic. Executives from the ADAC Foundation's board of directors, manufacturers Safran Helicopter Engines and Airbus Helicopters, and energy company TotalEnergies were present to witness the refueling. Together, these companies will be a driving force to decarbonize helicopter flight by developing alternatives to conventional aviation fuels.

The H145 was refueled with a second-generation biofuel – the SAF of choice of the aviation industry – which reduces CO2 emissions up to 90 % compared to its fossil equivalent.  The SAF fuel was produced by TotalEnergies at its facility in France from used cooking oil without using any virgin plant-based oil.

With this SAF, the ADAC Luftrettung fleet could achieve a 33% reduction in CO2 emissions.  The rescue helicopters fly more than 2 million miles per year, which equates to a reduction of around 6,000 tons of CO2.

Dr. Andrea David, CEO of the non-profit ADAC Foundation, said: “For us, the SAF pilot project is a first big step on the way to a climate-neutral ADAC Foundation and air rescue service and to achieving the climate protection goals of Germany and Europe.”