Engine manufacturer Turbomeca is revamping its Tech 600 and Tech 800 demonstrators to enhance fuel efficiency in the 500- to 1,000-shp power category and increase power density in the 1,000- to 1,500-shp bracket, respectively. The goal of Techsys, a third demonstrator, is to resduce Fadec costs by 20 percent through simplification.
The Tech 600 program targets a 15-percent cut in fuel burn at cruise. It will last until 2012. Tech 800, set to end around 2015, targets takeoff power through increased turbine inlet temperatures. “Single-crystal technology is plateauing so we are developing turbine blade cooling,” Charles Claveau, Turbomeca’s head of program and market strategy, said. “The challenge here is in the blades’ small size. Further progress in twin-centrifugal compressors is being sought, too.”
Turbomeca has also been busy with its engine programs for its various platforms. In Russia, the Kamov Ka-226 light twin has started flying with Arrius 2G1s. The engine is expected to be certified by the end of next year. The Ka-226T variant should follow soon after.
Russian Helicopters is also considering a turbine version of the Mi-34 light single–the Mi-34S2 Sapsan to be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2F. Claveau expressed hope that a firm contract would be signed this year. The first Sapsan delivery is expected in next year’s fourth quarter.
Claveau confirmed that Turbomeca is talking to China’s Avicopter about a pair of Ardidens to power the Z15 medium twin. The Z15 was planned to be fitted only with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67Es. But Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling in December hinted that the Chinese company may want to have a new Ardiden version in addition to or instead of the PT6Cs.
Turbomeca is working on TBOs for the Arriel 1D1 and the Makila 2A1. The Arriel 1D1, under the 1D1+ designation, will boast a 3,600-hour TBO. The Makila 2A1 will see an increase to 4,000 hours. These engines are installed on the AS350B2 Ecureuil and the EC225.
Turbomeca (Booth No. 2829) delivered 1,313 helicopter engines in 2008, 1,045 in 2009 and is planning to deliver 900 this year and next year. Claveau told AIN that Turbomeca continues to invest in research and development despite its 30-percent cut in production. “These demonstrator programs will validate the technologies we will find on tomorrow’s engines,” he said.