With a clear mandate from India’s 100-day-old government to make aerospace manufacturing a focus area for domestic and export markets, there is renewed interest by manufacturers to be in the forefront. This was clear at a recent conference the Center for Air Power Studies and the Confederation of Indian Industry held in New Delhi.
Bombardier Aerospace recently completed a non-temperature-restricted bleedless auxiliary power unit starting test, following a 10-hour cold soak at -40 degrees F and using a starter/generation system and lithium-ion battery system. The Safran Microturbo e-APU system included a starter generator and power electronics from Thales and a Saft Li-ion battery system. The prototype equipment was designed for business jets, Bombardier said. The tests were conducted at the Safran Turbomeca cold-chamber facility in Pau, France.
Messier-Bugatti-Dowty–part of Safran Group (Hall 4 Innovation Zone Stand A7), which is providing the landing gear for the Airbus A350–has signed a contract with Japan’s Kobe Steel to supply the French company with titanium forgings for the main landing gear of the Airbus A350 XWB.
GE Aviation is preparing to begin flight tests of its new Leap-1C and Passport engines featuring nacelles developed for them by the group’s Nexcelle joint venture with Safran subsidiary Aircelle. Last month, Nexcelle delivered the first full new-generation nacelles for both programs. They are due to fly soon on the engine maker’s Boeing 787 testbed. The Leap-1C is to power Comac’s C919 narrowbody airliner, while the Passport has been selected for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 business jets.
By the end of the year, CFM (OE 22) plans to have put together and tested around 20 Leap-1A/B/C turbofans, in preparation for their first flights next year and in 2016 on their respective application airframes. The Franco-American engine manufacturer is also gearing up for a swift production ramp-up, planned to reach an annual 1,700 engines by the end of the decade. The Leap will power the Airbus A320neo (Leap-1A), the Boeing 737 Max (Leap-1B) and Comac C919 (Leap-1C) narrowbodies.
With improved customer service finding new emphasis in many boardrooms–and aftermarket support becoming a growing revenue source–Safran subsidiaries Turbomeca and Sagem Avionics recently unveiled plans that highlight the roles technology can and will play in delivering support services.
Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an announced on March 26 an initial order for 120 WZ16/Ardiden 3C turboshaft engines that will power the Avic AC352 helicopter, the Chinese version of the Airbus Helicopters EC175. Certification of the engine by Chinese aviation authorities is expected at the end of 2015. Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an launched the joint project to develop, produce and support the engine in 2008. Based on the success of this cross-border partnership, the two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a new project for commercial jet engines.
Safran subsidiary Microturbo of Toulouse, France, and Houston’s Bristow Group announced at Heli-Expo 2014 signing the first support by the hour (SBH) agreement for Microturbo’s e-APU60. The Microturbo e-APU provides auxiliary power for the AW189 helicopter, which Bristow operates. Under the five-year agreement Turbomeca, Safran’s helicopter engine specialist, will provide integrated support activity for the Microturbo e-APUs installed on 11 search-and-rescue helicopters and six operating in the and oil and gas sector. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Cenco (Safran) will build a 46-foot engine test cell in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI). The new facility will allow SAEI to test the GE90-94/115, CFM56-5B/7B, CF34-8E/10E, CF6-80C2D1F/B5F and V2500-D5 while providing for future engine programs such as the Rolls-Royce Trent 700/900/1000 and the GE Aviation GEnx-1B/2B. The facility is set to enter service in July 2016.
CFM International announced on the eve of the show that it had closed the sale of Leap-1A engines to Pegasus Airlines for its Airbus A320neo/A321neo orders. The Snecma-GE joint venture also gave an update on Leap-1A testing. Separately, the French state has announced a divestiture of at least 3.6 percent of shares in Safran (Snecma’s parent company).
- Page 1