Now that its 11,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest turbofan has a launch application–the Cessna Citation Longitude–Snecma can get serious about engine certification efforts. Flight testing of the engine is due to start in the first half of 2013 using a Gulfstream GII as a testbed, with engine certification pegged for 2015, the French company said yesterday at EBACE.
Eight engines will take part in the certification effort, said Snecma Silvercrest general manager Laurence Finet. The first engine is now being assembled after full-scale engine development started in the third quarter of 2010. Snecma has started running the engine core, and the first full engine is due to go to test this summer at its Villaroche factory near Paris, which also produces CFM International engines for Airbus and Boeing airliners.
During the flight tests the GII testbed will have one of its Rolls-Royce Speys replaced with a Silvercrest. Snecma obtained the GII from sister company Sagem, which had been using it as a testbed for avionics upgrades. Finet told AIN that Snecma is also entertaining the idea of a GII re-engining program. “Why not?” he said. “We are studying all possibilities.”
According to Snecma, the Silvercrest will burn 15 percent less fuel, emit 50 percent less nitrous oxide (NOx) than the CAEP/6 standard and halve the noise footprint “compared to existing engines in the 10,000- to 12,000-pound class.”