Pratt & Whitney Canada and ATR, a joint venture between Leonardo and Airbus, have collaborated on an initiative to achieve 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) readiness in PW127 series engines, including the new PW127XT powering next-generation ATR deliveries, by 2025.
ATR is the creator of the ATR 72-600, which had been advertised as “the most fuel-efficient regional aircraft in the world.” The aircraft is 89 feet (27.1 meters) long and has a wingspan of 88 feet (27 meters). It boasts a lighter structure than similar models and a powerful engine.
ATR wants its regional champion to reach even higher by switching to the use of 100% SAF, which would equal zero emissions. This is why ATR is working with Pratt & Whitney.
In the summer of 2022, the two companies jointly conducted a successful flight test on an ATR 72-600 aircraft with both Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines fueled exclusively with SAF. ATR is aiming to obtain authorization to use 100% SAF-compatible fuel for ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft in the next phase of the program.
“Our collaboration with ATR will be underway throughout 2023 and 2024 and builds on our recent 100% SAF test flight with Braathens Regional Airlines, which was an industry first for regional aviation,” said Anthony Rossi, vice president, Sales and Marketing Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Alongside our efforts to continually enhance aircraft engine efficiency, SAF has a critical role to play on the journey to achieve the aviation industry’s goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. While all Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have already been certified for 50% SAF blends for more than a decade, ensuring readiness to operate with 100% SAF blends in the future will allow us to maximize their potential for decarbonization.”
Working together, Pratt & Whitney Canada and ATR will conduct the necessary compatibility studies, engineering analyses, and aircraft ground and flight tests, among others. Certification of 100% SAF will ultimately depend on ASTM International defining a specification for that fuel, which we expect could happen as soon as 2025. The program will adhere to standards established by ASTM International.