UK RAF achieves first SAF air-to-air refuelling
The UK Royal Air Force has announced that it has successfully completed the first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend air-to-air refuelling of a Typhoon and C-130 Hercules aircraft. A RAF Voyager aircraft delivered the blended SAF to the aircraft.
Air BP supplied the fuel which was mixed at a 46% to 48% ratio with fossil jet fuel. It was made from used cooking oil and fats (HEFA). The trial took place in 2022.
“We have learnt a great deal during this trial and now have confidence in our ability to use blends of Sustainable Aviation Fuel now and in the future. The trial proved there is no detriment to performance as we strive towards reduced emissions targets,” said Squadron Leader Evans, RAF Supply Project Manager.
The RAF says it is keen to use sustainable fuels both for environmental and operational resilience reasons as it becomes less reliant on global supply chains.
“This was a first for both Typhoon and the Hercules and we believe that we are the first Air Force to conduct an Air-to-Air refuel operation with a sustainable aviation fuel bend at this level,” said Evans. “We are hugely grateful to Air BP for their expertise in assisting us with the re-manufacture and re-certification process to enable this successful result.”