At a Sunday morning press event, Turbomeca chairman and CEO Olivier Andriès listed the French turbine engine manufacturer’s 2011 successes, including a recovery in production numbers from the 2010 low of 800. Turbomeca delivered 950 turboshaft engines last year, and expects to produce approximately 1,100 before the end of 2012.
He noted that the 10,000th Arriel engine has been delivered to the U.S. Army, making that service the world’s largest Arriel operator. The Arriel 2D has entered service aboard the Eurocopter AS350B3e and will power the new Eurocopter EC130T2; Turbomeca received contracts to provide Arriel 2E engines for the EC145T2 and Arriel 2Ns for the U.S. Coast Guard’s AS365N3e Dauphin helicopters. China has selected the Arriel 2B1A for its AVIC AC311.
Regarding the new 1,800-shp Ardiden 3, Andriès said, “The engine is real. All testing is completed.” The Ardiden 3, designed to power helicopters in the six to eight-metric-ton weight range, will have a projected TBO of 5,000 hours. It has been selected for the Russian Kamov Ka-62. Andriès added that the engine is planned to fly by the end of 2014. The Turbomeca CEO said he is confident that a helicopter powered by the Ardiden 3 will have 15 to 20 percent greater range than it would with existing engines in the same power class.
One of Turbomeca’s newest products, the 1,100-shp TM800 has moved from technology demonstrator status (Tech 800) to preproduction. “It will have a name in due course,” Andriès promised. The engine, designed to power future four- to six-metric-ton helicopters, will boast a “significant reduction” in specific fuel consumption vis a vis current engines, Andriès predicted.
Turbomeca awarded recognition plaques to Lon Halvorson, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters executive v-p, and to Metro Aviation, launch customer for the Arriel 2E-powered EC145C2. Papillon operates a fleet of Turbomeca-engined Eurocopter models on aerial tours of the Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona.
At its Heli-Expo 2012 booth( No.7515) Turbomeca is demonstrating the advantages of its new online customer service site, Bank Of Online Services and Technology (Boost), designed to streamline and enhance product support functions.