Turbomeca Engines has become a major player on a highly competitive field in recent years after decades spent primarily as a powerplant supplier to European helicopter manufacturers. As the chief provider of engines all across the Eurocopter line, Turbomeca has increased its North American presence on pace with American Eurocopter’s penetration of Western Hemisphere markets.
Safran’s business in India has taken a step forward following the recent maiden flight of Hindustan Aeronautics’ Dhruv helicopter powered by the Ardiden 1H Shakti turboshaft engine produced by the French group’s Turbomeca division. The move bolsters Safran’s long-term expansion plans in India, not only in the defense market but also in the booming civil sector.
Indian-based manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) is making progress toward European certification of its Dhruv light-twin helicopter. A tentative schedule calls for European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification early in 2009. Indian deliveries began in 2002.
Turbomeca and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon be flight testing their codeveloped 1,200-shp Ardiden 1H (or Shakti, under its Indian designation) turboshaft engine, the French partner announced last month. Certification is pegged for this fall, with deliveries to begin shortly thereafter. Initial applications will be upgraded military versions of the twin-turbine HAL Dhruv. The engine made its first ground run in October 2005.
In January the Yelahanka air force base hosted the fifth Aero India show. The event attracted 372 exhibitors, 136 from India and 236 from foreign countries. Few of the more than 60 aircraft at the show were civil helicopters, among them the civilian version of the home-grown Dhruv.
Turbomeca is today announcing a further expansion of its customer support network with four additional TurboSupport Centers. Simultaneously, during a morning press conference here at the Paris Air Show, the helicopter engine specialist in the new Safran group (formed by the merger of Snecma and Sagem) is to disclose the sale of the first Arrius 2B2-powered Eurocopter EC135 in Brazil to the country's firefighters.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), headquartered in Bangalore, has brought two examples–one civil production aircraft and a military prototype–of its indigenously designed Dhruv helicopter to show here at Farnborough International.
French companies Turbomeca and Microturbo have built a new turbine engine manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in the UK near Fareham, Hampshire, on England’s south coast. The new structure, built at a cost of $7.7 million, adds 50,000 sq ft of office and factory space, doubling the previous available area.
Turbomeca’s high-altitude Ardiden gas turbine has made its first run in southwestern France. The company configured the prototype as a pure jet engine but was installing a drive shaft with a view to further tests at press time. First flight is planned for July next year, with EASA certification due in December.
French turbine helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca, coming off a record production year in 2005, is at Heli-Expo’06 working to secure a beachhead in its “American Invasion” program, an effort designed to emphasize increased production capacity and support capabilities at Turbomeca USA.
- Page 2