Sasol and Deutsche Aircraft deepen cooperation on green aviation fuels

An artist’s impression of the D328eco

An artist’s impression of the D328eco

Photo by Deutsche Aircraft

21st June 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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German aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft and Sasol ecoFT, the sustainable fuels development business of South African petrochemical group Sasol, have announced a deepening of their relationship. The two companies signed a letter of intent, at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, to provide Deutsche Aircraft customers with access to Sasol ecoFT’s sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) expert team, as soon as sufficient SAF production capacity has been achieved, to help fuel their D328eco aircraft.

Almost a year ago, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the use of 100% SAF in regional air transport. The MoU was specifically concerned with Power-to-Liquid SAF produced via the Fischer-Tropsch technology in which Sasol is the world leader. Deutsche Aircraft is currently developing its D328eco twin-turboprop 40-passenger regional airliner, which will be capable of using 100% SAF from the very start, and is aimed at being the most advanced regional aircraft on the market. (The company also holds the type certificate and is the service partner for the earlier D328 types, both jet and turboprop, that are still being operated around the world.)

“Within this great partnership, we share the same ambition of climate neutral aviation,” affirmed Sasol ecoFT senior VP Helge Sachs. “Today’s agreement is another step into the right direction by supporting an often-overlooked segment of the market with SAF. We want to make fuelling up with SAF a normal thing like the world got accustomed to lead-free gasoline many years ago.”

“As Deutsche Aircraft, we are proud to be a part of a sustainable aviation ecosystem, and with our D328eco aircraft in conjunction with SAF supplied by our partner Sasol ecoFT, our customers will be able to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions, improve local air quality and reduce the climate impact from contrails,” highlighted Deutsche Aircraft head of sustainability Dr Regina Pouzolz. “By providing demand certainty to investors and SAF producers we are supporting the SAF ramp-up vital to reduce costs.”

Deutsche Aircraft also made a number of other announcements, regarding its D328eco programme, at the Paris Air Show. It has signed a contract with US company NORDAM to design, develop, industrial and manufacture the engine nacelles for the aircraft. The German airframer also revealed that it has selected French company Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation (part of the German-Swiss Liebherr Group) to provide the air management system for the D328eco. And it entered a long-term framework agreement with German enterprise thyssenkrupp Aerospace, under which the latter would create an integrated end-to-end materials supply and management solution for the D328eco aircraft.

Separately, Deutsche Aircraft further announced on Tuesday that it had won a public tender contract to supply the German Aerospace Centre (better known internationally by its German initials, DLR) with a pre-existing D328 twin-turboprop aircraft. The company will convert this aircraft to act as a flying testbed for the DLR, which will use it to support German aerospace industry programmes to achieve carbon emission neutrality in aviation.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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