More electric systems are gaining ground aboard new aircraft but they will not force hydraulics out in the near or even mid term, according to Alain Coutrot, Safran’s deputy director for research and technology. Moreover, he said, depending on the size of the aircraft, electric power addresses different needs.
Turbomeca is pressing ahead with a radical design for a new generation of helicopter engines to deliver a quantum leap in operational efficiency. “If we do not shoot for a 30- to 50-percent improvement in fuel burn for 20 to 30 years from now, the helicopter will be no more than an airshow attraction and will no longer be a business tool,” the French company’s president Pierre Fabre told AIN.
Microturbo is ground testing its e-APU, a new auxiliary power unit designed for new-generation business aircraft that are expected to need more electrical power. The company projects certification and first deliveries in early 2012.
Snecma launched the Silvercrest core-engine demonstrator program in 2006, built the engine in 2007 and successfully completed testing of it in March 2008. Now the company is continuing its talks with airframers to find a first application for the 9,500- to 12,000-pound-thrust engine. “The Silvercrest is being considered for many programs,” said Laurence Finet, general manager of the Silvercrest program.
Microturbo (Booth No. 1143) is ground testing its e-APU, a new auxiliary power unit designed for new-generation business aircraft that are expected to need more electrical power. The company projects certification and first deliveries in early 2012.
A prevailing gloomy economic outlook notwithstanding, Turbomeca projected an air of optimism at a Saturday afternoon press briefing when Pierre Fabre, the company’s chairman and CEO, declared that the French turboshaft engine manufacturer has “long-term confidence in the helicopter market.” He said Turbomeca’s immediate goal is to stabilize activity at the same high level achieved in 2008 when it built 1,313 engines and recorded “the best over
Microturbo’s new auxiliary power unit, dubbed the e-APU, made its first run on a test bench in Toulouse, France, late in December. According to the Safran subsidiary, initial tests have been successful. With an electric power output of 15 to 90 kWe, the e-APU is targeted at new business aircraft and helicopters. The test program will continue throughout this year, notably to demonstrate a start-up ceiling of 41,000 feet.
J.R. “Rick” Hundley has been named president and CEO of San Antonio-based M7 Aerospace, succeeding Ron Frederick, who is retiring in December. Hundley previously was a senior executive at consulting firm Business Strategies International, aerospace manufacturing and service organization Safran USA, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.
Microturbo (Booth No. 4287) is on track to perform a first test run of its so-called e-APU family of auxiliary power units for business jets by the end of the year. The company intends to achieve certification in 2011, having recently reached an agreement with the Triumph group to provide a gear box for the APUs, which are intended to deliver the additional electrical power required by new business aircraft.
French aerospace conglomerate Safran (Booth No. 4287) said it is reorganizing to meet the challenges presented by the growing role of electronics in aircraft systems and subsystems design.