Messier-Bugatti-Dowty will be Eurocopter’s single-source supplier for wheels and brakes on the new X4 medium-twin helicopter. The Safran company will provide the two nosewheels, two main wheels and two electric brakes, the electronic brake controller and four brake pedal transmitter units. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty’s electric brakes are designed “to reduce weight, while retaining excellent friction properties” and simplifying maintenance.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has selected Messier-Bugatti-Dowty wheels and electric brakes for its new Boeing 787s, the equipment manufacturer announced here at the show. Deliveries of the new airliner are scheduled to begin in 2013. The Safran company’s electric brakes have been designed to reduce weight while improving service availability, simplifying maintenance and increasing durability.
Sagem, part of France’s Safran Group, and Germany’s MTU Aero Engine have formed a 50-50 joint venture company for equipment control software and hardware. Dubbed Aerospace Embedded Solutions (AES), the new company will provide “safety-critical” products for military and civil aviation with applications including engines, landing gear and thrust reversers.
Peter Lengyel, president and CEO of Safran USA, understands why most Americans aren’t familiar with his company. After all, it is only six years old. But Safran is a huge global company with 57,000 employees worldwide and a global presence, with products aviation-industry people and air travelers probably use, one way or another, almost every day.
“We are the merger of Snecma and Sagem, which occurred in 2005. Sagem is avionics and optronics and Snecma is the largest propulsion company in the world,” said Lengyel, at the Safran display (Booth No. 7517).
Sagem Avionics, part of the Safran group, is at Booth No. 7517 celebrating Slave Lake Helicopters’ selection of Sagem’s Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS) for its new Eurocopter AS350 B3e. That machine joins three others in the Slave Lake fleet, an AS350 B2, an EC120 and a Bell 206 B3, all with the Sagem ICDS.
Olivier Andriès, who has been the CEO of Turbomeca since June, predicts that helicopter engines will become fuel-electric hybrids around 2030. He also predicted that, in about 20 years, conventional turbine engine performance will be close to an asymptote. By that, he meant further improvement of turbine technology will be enormously difficult and expensive, if not impossible. So the next step will be hybridization, he said. “We will see integrated propulsion systems using thermodynamic and electric solutions,” he told AIN.
Oliver Andriès, From Ministries To Industry
Push-back tugs and taxiing aircraft with engines powered up may well, in a few years, be seen as remnants of the past. Two exhibitors here at the Singapore Airshow are studying electric motors that would drive the aircraft’s wheels on the ground.
Thales signed a fixed-price availability contract with the French ministry of defense for support of the Rafale fighter. The company is the last of the three big Rafale contractors to agree to a long-term partnership deal for support. Dassault signed a 10-year agreement in 2008, and engine supplier Snecma followed with a five-year agreement in 2010.
French aerospace manufacturer Safran has partnered with a historical archeology association on a mission to rewrite the history books. The group seeks to find incontrovertible proof that a French aircraft (l’Oiseau Blanc) flown by pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli successfully crossed the Atlantic 12 days before Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The aircraft has never been found, but in some accounts witnesses claim to have heard the sound of a laboring aircraft engine over Maine.