Safran Helicopter Engines for ‘Greener’ vertical flight
Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines have teamed up “to prepare the future of cleaner, quieter and more efficient vertical flight, ahead of the upcoming Horizon Europe research programme which should be carried out during the next decade”. A Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed at the Paris Air Show 2019 between the two companies which formalised their willingness to jointly demonstrate future technologies that will significantly contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and sound levels for future vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platforms. A number of technological streams will be investigated, including various levels of electrification, higher-efficiency gas turbines or alternative fuels, as well as advanced engine architectures to further reduce the acoustic footprint of turbines. As Safran Helicopter Engines informed, “This future cooperation with Airbus in the frame of the Horizon Europe programme is a great opportunity to prepare propulsion systems for future helicopters. Today, Safran is the most capable provider of integrated and efficient propulsive systems, with the widest gas turbine power range and a complete range of electric systems for hybrid electric propulsive solutions, in addition to strong testing, qualification and certification expertise. We are very pleased to partner with Airbus Helicopters in this journey for a lower environmental footprint of air transport.”
Arrius Engines mark 10 million FH
Safran has marked major achievement for its Arrius engine range, 10 million flight hours flown since its introduction in 1996. With more than 3,800 units delivered to 430 operators in 60 countries, the Arrius family covers a power range of 450-750 shp and flies in both single and twin-engine light helicopters. Over the years, the Arrius range has maintained its status as the “most competitive and robust engine solution for the light helicopter market”, and it continues to be selected for new models. First installed in the EC135 in 1996, the latest Arrius 2B2Plus variant entered service on the Airbus H135 in 2014. Another variant, the Arrius 2G1, powers the Russian Helicopters Ka-226T, is in service in Russia, and part of a major military contract currently under negotiation between Russia and India. These latest models make the Arrius range as competitive as ever, and it will remain at the forefront of Safran propulsion offer for the next 20 years.
CFM and the LEAP engines
CFM International’s (joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines) advanced LEAP engine continues to set a new industry standard for fuel efficiency and asset utilisation as the fleet continues the most rapid buildup in commercial aviation history, with the fleet logging nearly five million engine flight hours through to mid-2019, less than three years after commencing commercial service. The first LEAP-powered commercial flight happened in August 2016 on a Pegasus Airlines flight from Istanbul to Antalya. Since then, more than 825 LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B-powered aircraft have been delivered to 104 operators on five continents. “The LEAP engine just keeps delivering. The rate at which the fleet has been accumulating hours and cycles is unprecedented in the industry, but it is also achieving this with better fuel efficiency, lower noise and emissions, higher reliability, and industry-leading utilization level of 96 percent of available days flown”, stated Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International.