Safran powers up on AW189K

Safran powers up on AW189K

By Tim Martin, Shephard Media

Engine manufacturer Safran expects to fulfil ‘most of the EASA certification requirements’ on its 2500- 3000shp Aneto 1K powerplant by the end of 2018, as flight test integration on the Leonardo AW189K super-medium aircraft ramps up.

Speaking to Helitech International Daily News, Bruno Bellanger, executive VP programmes at Safran Helicopter Engines, confirmed that the company has been pleased with the performance of the engine throughout its testing campaign, which to date, includes 4,000h of ground tests and ‘roughly 100 flight hours’.

He added that Aneto 1K certification is scheduled to be achieved during the Q2 2019, while Leonardo is targeting aircraft certification on the AW189K by the end of that year. Entry into service of the helicopter is anticipated to follow directly after.

`Generally speaking, the engine will provide a strong power performance benefit, particularly in hot and high conditions,’ Bellanger explained. ‘Our main priority is to put the engine on the market. We are discussing opportunities with other OEMs, but at the moment we can’t disclose anything further.’

Racing ahead
Aside from the AW189K, the Aneto has also been selected on the Airbus Racer programme, where Safran will, for the first time, use its Power Pack Eco Mode application, which enables one engine to be paused or rested during cruise phase, through use of a smart motor, with the engine then being restarted ‘in a short space of time’, according to the OEM.

Bellanger stated that the primary advantage of the Power Pack Eco Mode concept offers a 10-15% fuel saving, but he made no specific mention of when it will start testing on the Racer programme.

Signs of growth
Regarding the company’s wider product portfolio, Ballanger said: ‘We have made considerable investments to develop state-of-the-art engines, and we have the best in class in terms of performance, maintenance and ownership costs. [Safran has] a strong proposition for customers, but investment continues, in order to prepare for the future.

`Roughly we are putting 15% of our turnover into new projects, and part of that includes turbo/gas hybrid powered [development] because we believe we can continue to improve the performance of those kinds of engines,’ he continued.

On the issue of international helicopter market growth, Ballanger pointed to business being driven ‘by emerging countries like China and India’, while also referring to European and American stability.

`There are positive signs on the light and medium helicopter front. In the heavy market, we are seeing an increase in oil and gas, but it will be small,’ he said. ‘On top of that, there are good signs [of growth] on the military market. We have received some orders on the NH90 and across the Super Puma family and on the [UH-72] Lakota in the US.’

Tailored support
Separately, Safran has announced changes to its support-by-the-hour (SBH) customer services offering.

In a statement, the company said that its ‘SBH solutions’ will be extended to cover its full spectrum of ‘customer profiles’.

This equates to ‘SBH 5 Star’ eligibility for civil operators with a maximum of five aircraft, `SBH Classic’ for those with six or more aircraft in their fleet and ‘SBH M’ for military users.

Currently, 100 customers have subscribed to one of the SBH range of contracts, according to Safran.

`With these offers, we are tailoring our service to each customer mission and fleet to maintain their levels of satisfaction as high as possible,’ said Frederic Bugeon, VP of sales, marketing and customer satisfaction at Safran Helicopter Engines.

Read the full daily news from Helitech International 2018 here – https://goo.gl/WbcfL8

 

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