In a brave and defiant new step to open up a variety of options for flying military and civilian aircraft, an RAF Voyager flew over Oxfordshire while being fuelled exclusively by entirely sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The effort involved a number of parties including the RAF, DE&S, and industry employers Airbus, AirTanker, and Rolls-Royce, with air bp providing the innovative SAF for the flight.
“For the first time, an RAF Voyager flew over Oxfordshire while being fuelled exclusively by entirely sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).“
The RAF's currently has a potentially problematic dependence on international supply chains for its operation, which risks limiting the organisations operation should something go wrong. But with SAF produced from farm feed waste this dependence can be reduced, and resilience can be increased. Furthermore, this method typically cuts carbon by up to 80%.
Other advances made involve testing an electric aircraft at RAF Cranwell, producing fuel from genetically engineered bacteria, and setting a new world record for a microlight flight implementing artificial fuel.
The SAF represents a large positive movement on the road to the RAF's objective of being Net Zero by 2040, all the while satisfying the key emphasis on safeguarding the UK.
The Royal Air Force Commander in Chief HM King Charles III has promoted a rise in the use of SAF in the private sector via the Sustainable Markets Initiative, while also promoting its use in the armed forces. These steps have been an overwhelmingly positive start, and hopefully we will see significant changes as time goes on to ensure a more sensible and sustainable future when it comes to fossil fuel alternatives in the aviation sector.
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