Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter Completes First Flight Using Biofuel
Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter Completes First Flight Using Biofuel

Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter Completes First Flight Using Biofuel

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company has approved the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), often referred to as biofuel, for the S-92 helicopter as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels and the aircraft completed its first flight. This approval occurs as companies across the aviation industry are taking steps to meet environmental challenges, including transitioning to sustainable aviation fuels derived from renewable non-fossil fuel sources and utilized by aircraft certified for Jet A/A-1 fuels. CHC Helikopter Service of Norway, was the first to fly the S-92 helicopter using Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (HEFA-SPK) which is one of seven types of approved SAFs available today. SAFs are capable of reducing lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80% when compared to petroleum-based jet fuels. HEFA-SPK is produced from waste and residual feedstock such as used cooking oil.

“The S-92 helicopter’s first flight using SAF further demonstrates how SAF can be used today with our CT7 engines to lower CO2 emissions,” said Harry Nahatis, vice president and general manager of GE Turboshaft Engine programs. “All GE engines are capable of using approved SAF blends without any modifications, and we firmly believe flights like this demonstrate how SAF can contribute to more sustainable flight across the aviation industry.”

“As a Corporation, we are committed to sustainability and I am proud that our S-92 helicopter is playing a role in a more sustainable future,” said Jason Lambert, Sikorsky’s vice president of Global Commercial and Military Systems. “The aircraft is known for its unmatched advantages and the use of biofuel is one more attribute on that list.”

GE Aviation, which manufactures the CT7-8A engines that power the S-92 helicopter, supports Sikorsky’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions through the use of SAF. GE is heavily involved in the qualifying and testing of approved SAF blends. Norwegian offshore helicopters will be the first to fly commercial flights on biofuel on the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. The use of biofuel across the S-92 global fleet is an additional benefit to the offshore oil and gas mission. GE’s successful T700/CT7 family of turboprop and turboshaft engines powers 25 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries. The commercial CT7 engine powers a variety of helicopters including the Bell 214ST and 525, Sikorsky S-70, S-92 and AgustaWestland’s AW101 and AW189. The turboprop version of the engine powers aircraft such as the CN235 and Saab 340.

The Sikorsky S-92 is an American twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the civil and military helicopter markets. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems. The S-92 is multi-purpose helicopter powered by twin GE CT7-8A turboshaft engines and has an aluminum airframe and some composite components. The four-bladed fully articulated composite main rotor blade is wider and has a longer radius than the Sikorsky S-70. The tapered blade tip sweeps back and angles downward to reduce noise and increase lift. Most of the rotor system components aside from the blades are titanium.

Best-in-class safety and reliability, the S-92 helicopter can operate on approved Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Photo courtesy of CHC Helikopter Service of Norway