SAF used to refuel RAF Voyager mid-air


The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has completed a mid-air refuelling of one of its Voyager passenger transport aircraft (pictured) over the North Sea, using a 43% blend of cooking oil based Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The SAF for the flight was sourced by International Airlines Group (IAG) and supplied by Air bp. 

According to the Ministry of Defence, the flight follows a series of “significant milestones” achieved by the RAF in the use of more sustainable fuels. This includes the first RAF Voyager flight fuelled by 100% SAF in November last year.

The UK’s Minister of Defence, Baroness Annabel Goldie said that the greater use of alternative fuels can only lead to “positive outcomes” for defence, the UK and the collective battle against climate change.

This is not an easy undertaking by the RAF, but time and again we see that by working collaboratively with our partners across the industry we can achieve crucial transformation,” added Goldie.

The Voyager flight was part of the RAF’s ambitions to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and to gather data to aid the transition away from fossil fuels.

Increasing the understanding of SAF and its use will be critical for the RAF’s operational capability and wider military aviation.

Air vice-marshal, Paul Lloyd, chief of Staff Support and chief engineer, RAF said that the continued success and integration of sustainable aviation fuel is reassuring.

“If we are to achieve our net zero goal by 2040, then exploiting these technologies is going to be an enormous but worthwhile endeavour,” said Lloyd. “Despite the challenge, the benefits of reducing our reliance on traditional supply chains and fossil fuels outweigh it.”