Turbomeca Highlights Growth Plans at Heli-Expo 2014
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca, a Safran company, delivered 984 engines last year and repaired an additional 1,499, resulting in an 8-percent increase in revenues over 2012, chairman and CEO Olivier Andriès reported yesterday at Heli-Expo. He singled out the agreement to supply Arrius 2R engines for Bell Helicopter’s 505 Jet Ranger X, announced at last year’s Paris Air Show, as a milestone for both companies, and an indication of growth to come. “In 75 years of history, the two leading companies the helicopter world had never, ever partnered before.”
Andriès said Turbomeca will focus on four “strategic axes” going forward: enlarging its portfolio of OEM customers, continuing to develop new engines and variants, bolstering its position in emerging markets and developing customer loyalty through aftermarket support programs. The company’s policy of investing 15 percent of revenues in R&D will also help reach its goal, he said, noting 10 new engine projects are currently in progress, and Turbomeca will focus on wringing more power out of existing engine models while working to decrease fuel consumption and emissions and increasing reliability.
Meanwhile, the Arriel family of engines, in the 500- to 1,000-shp range, has now passed 40 million flight hours of operation. In the Ardiden 3 family, Turbomeca has delivered the first Ardiden 3G engines to Russian Helicopters for its Ka-62, and the new Arrano, designed for 1,000- to 2,000-shp applications, had its first bench run earlier this month.
Efforts to increase customer loyalty will include working on TBO extensions of 10 to 20 percent, tripling the number of certified service centers in the next decade, and introducing a new customer service portal, called Boost. Developed with IBM, the portal will enable customers to keep electronic engine logbooks, have access to all engine documents electronically and even configure their engines on the Web.