Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to Operate With Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Several big players in the aerospace industry are betting on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to decarbonize the aviation sector. One of them is Bell, which has recently teamed up with Safran Helicopter Engines to explore the use of the blended SAF on a 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter.
The two companies will study and advance the use of SAF on the Bell 505. To stay in the air, the aircraft will use Safran’s Arrius 2R engine, which will run on blended SAF. That means it will use a mixture of green fuel with traditional kerosene.

Bell and Safran will test the engine and evaluate the aircraft’s performance data in order to better determine the advantages of incorporating SAF into operations. Compared to conventional fuel, this cleaner alternative is expected to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

“We strongly believe in SAF, as it contributes to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. As all our helicopter engines, the Arrius 2R, is already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, and we are fully ready to assist all Bell 505 operators worldwide in their transition from conventional fossil fuels to SAF”, said Bruno Bellanger, executive vice president, Programs, Safran Helicopter Engines.

Safran already has its engines certified to operate on up to 50 percent SAF (including the Arrius 2R). But the company has greater goals: it plans to certify its powerplants to run on completely unblended SAF in the future.

If everything goes accordingly, it could cut carbon emissions by up to 80 percent. Safran seems to be on the right track, though. Last year, it conducted a ground test campaign on a 100 percent SAF-powered Makila 2 engine and even completed several flight tests.

Bell is no stranger to SAF either. In March 2021, the company began using SAF in its training and demonstration fleet, and last summer, its 525 Relentless successfully completed its first flight using green fuel. Now it’s the 505 Jet Ranger X’s turn to make its first SAF-powered flight.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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