NAA Summer Awards Ceremony: Safran’s SMA Engines subsidiary is recognized for an eco-friendly aviation milestone

June 27, 2017

SMA Engines, a Texas-based subsidiary of Safran Aircraft Engines, was recognized this month at the National Aeronautic Association's (NAA) Summer Awards Ceremony for powering a world record-setting flight. The awards ceremony, which took place June 22 at the Lockheed Martin Fighter Demonstration Center in Arlington, Virginia, featured the Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2016 and other notable record achievements.

SMA Engines Vice President Thierry Saint Loup and Ross McCurdy
SMA Engines Vice President Thierry Saint Loup is joined by Ross McCurdy at the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Summer Awards Ceremony.

SMA's piston engine-powered Cessna 182 set the first Aeroplane Efficiency World Record in a C-1-c-class aircraft. After a long and thorough verification process, the general aviation aircraft's record-setting flight – completed on July 12, 2016 – was finally ratified as a World Record this year by the NAA in the U.S., and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) in Switzerland.

This flight – which used a 50/50 blend of Jet-A fuel and renewable Camelina plant seed oil – took off and landed at New Jersey's Caldwell Airport on July 12. At the controls were pilots Ross McCurdy, a science teacher from Rhode Island; and SMA Engines Vice President Thierry Saint Loup, who accepted the certificate on behalf on Safran.

The 848-nm. triangular course was completed in 9.1 hours, resulting in an efficiency of 15.1 nm. per gallon and setting a world record in its class. To determine the amount of fuel used and the efficiency attained, the aircraft was weighed prior to and after the flight. A total of 56 gallons of aviation biofuel blend was used during the voyage. 

As a non-profit membership organization located in Arlington, Virginia, the National Aeronautic Association is devoted to fostering participation opportunities in activities related to aviation, and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight in the U.S. This association is the caretaker of some of aviation's most important awards, and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States.

The Swiss-based Fédération Aéronautique Internationale is the world governing body for air sports, maintaining records for such aerospace activities as ballooning, aeromodeling, and unmanned aerial vehicles; along with human spaceflight.