Connect with us


First A319neo flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel

First A319neo flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel

Toulouse, 29 October 2021 – Airbus, Dassault Aviation, ONERA, the French Ministry of Transports and Safran have launched the first in-flight study of a single-aisle aircraft running on unblended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

During the flight test over the Toulouse region on 28 October, one CFM LEAP-1A engine of an Airbus A319neo test aircraft operated on 100% SAF. Initial results from the ground and flight tests are expected in 2022.

The unblended SAF is provided by Total Energies. It is made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which primarily consists of used cooking oil, as well as other waste fats. HEFA is made of paraffinic hydrocarbons and is free of aromatics and sulfur. Approximately 57 tonnes of SAF will be used for the entire test campaign. It is produced in Normandy close to Le Havre, France. The 100% SAF will also be utilised for compatibility and engine operability studies on the Safran Helicopters Arrano engine used on the Airbus Helicopters H160, which are expected to start in 2022.

Airbus, in collaboration with DLR, is responsible for characterising and analysing the impact of 100% SAF on ground and in-flight emissions. Safran focuses on compatibility studies related to the fuel system and engine adaptation for commercial and helicopter aircraft and their optimisation for various types of 100% SAF fuels. Safran will perform LEAP engine ground tests with 100% SAF at its Villaroche facilities later this year to complete analysis. ONERA is supporting Airbus and Safran in analysing the compatibility of the fuel with aircraft systems and will be in charge of preparing, analysing and interpreting test results for the impact of 100% SAF on emissions and contrail formation. Dassault Aviation is contributing to the material and equipment compatibility studies and verifying 100% SAF biocontamination susceptibility.


ANA to start drone delivery service as Japan eases regulations

The study – known as VOLCAN (VOL avec Carburants Alternatifs Nouveaux) – contributes to global decarbonisation efforts currently underway across the entire aeronautical industry, and is benefiting from a financing of the France Relance recovery plan, the part thereof dedicated to the decarbonisation of aviation, which is implemented by DGAC under the supervision of Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, French Minister of Transports. The study’s ultimate goal is to promote the large-scale deployment and use of SAF, and certification of 100% SAF for use in single-aisle commercial aircraft and the new generation of business jets.

Rolls-Royce reaches new milestone building world’s largest aero-engine

@Airbus @Dassault_OnAir @onera_fr @SAFRAN



China’s Fighter Jets Turn Wings into Autonomous Drones

China's Fighter Jets Turn Wings into Autonomous Drones

In a striking display of aerospace innovation, Chinese engineers have reportedly tested a groundbreaking “combiner” blended-wing stealth aircraft with detachable drone wings.

This transformative technology, reminiscent of fictional “combiner” Transformers, was showcased during a test flight at an undisclosed airport near the Mu Us Desert’s southern edge.

The stealth fighter, equipped with powerful twin-engine turbofans and a sleek delta-wing design, demonstrated unprecedented versatility. During the flight, segments of its wings detached, seamlessly transforming into two separate “flying wing” drones powered by electric fans.

This capability marks a significant leap in aerial warfare, enabling the fighter to deploy autonomous drones mid-flight for strategic operations.


Future stealth fighters will prioritize integration with drones

Yang Wei, chief designer of China’s J-20 stealth fighter, emphasized that future iterations will prioritize seamless integration with drones. The development includes plans for a two-seater variant of the J-20 to enhance operational coordination with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reflecting China’s strategic focus on combined arms tactics.

The next-generation stealth fighter design integrates two drones directly into the aircraft’s delta wing structure, departing from earlier attempts that fixed drones to wingtips.

This innovative “rear edge docking configuration,” connecting leading edges of the drones to the fighter’s trailing edge, enhances stability during separation. However, it poses challenges such as managing significant changes in the aircraft’s center of gravity and aerodynamic balance.

FCC-100 flight control computer ensures precise control

To address these complexities, Du’s team developed advanced algorithms capable of analyzing and compensating for disturbances like wind changes during drone separation. Both the fighter and the drones utilize the cutting-edge FCC-100 flight control computer from Northwestern Polytechnical University, ensuring precise control and maneuverability.


While specific details about the test flight date remain classified, the project signifies remarkable advancements in aircraft stability and control. These developments pave the way for practical applications in future combat scenarios.

Chinese scientists are also exploring additional technologies like plasma stealth and advanced airflow management to further enhance the capabilities of their next-generation fighters.

Continue Reading