Bell probes ‘multiple alternative propulsion architectures’


Bell is exploring “multiple propulsion architectures”, Eric Sinusas, director of Commercial Development Programs tells Helicopter Investor.

Speaking after a Bell 505 completed the first flight of single engine helicopter fuelled solely by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Sinusas said: Bell’s Innovation team is exploring multiple alternative propulsion architectures and forms of energy storage to determine the best sustainable solutions for our current and future products.”

Bell is also committed to supporting Textron’s Achieve 2025 goals and contributing to enterprise-wide sustainability initiatives, he added.

Earlier this month Helicopter Investor reported Bell’s partnership with Safran Helicopter Engines, Neste, GKN Aerospace and Virent to enable the record-breaking flight. Commenting on the test flight Sinusas told us: The Bell 505 completed its first flight fuelled solely by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel, marking the first-ever single engine helicopter to fly with 100% SAF. Aside from being the first single-engine aircraft to achieve this milestone, this flight showcases Bell’s commitment to sustainability, a shared industry goal.” 

Meanwhile, earlier this month Safran Helicopter Engines supported a test flight by France’s defence procurement agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement – DGA) of an NH90, during which one of its two RTM322 engines ran on SAF. The other partners were TotalEnergies and Airbus Helicopters. The fuel was produced by TotalEnergies from used cooking oil using HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) technology and has a carbon footprint four times smaller than that of a fossil fuel.

For more information on SAF, visit Helicopter Investor’s new sister site SAF Investor.

Top: Bell is exploring “multiple propulsion architectures”, says Eric Sinusas, after the OEM’s 100% SAF flight.

Above: France’s defence procurement agency ran an NH90 flight test with one engine powered by SAF.

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