French engine manufacturer Snecma has revealed plans to develop a turbofan engine to power business and regional jets. It has started developing a core engine demonstrator called the SM-X that, if a full development program is launched, would yield a powerplant producing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.
Engine manufacturers are showing renewed interest in the 10,000-pound-thrust segment. They see the aging of the General Electric (GE) CF34-3B, the only engine in production in the class, and at least two companies–Snecma and Pratt & Whitney Canada–are eyeing future large business jets, the size of the Bombardier Challenger 600 series, as potential applications. Meanwhile, GE is modernizing the CF34-1 for the Challenger 601.
Snecma, the leading French aerospace engine and equipment-manufacturing group is no more. A series of moves has transformed it from the government-controlled producer of the successful CFM aircraft engines with General Electric of the U.S. into a private undertaking that last month merged with telecommunications group Sagem to form Safran.
During the Cold War, the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) produced the yearly list of items that U.S., European, and Japanese firms were enjoined not to sell to the Soviet Union or any of its client states. The system worked reasonably well, and Soviet military designers were forced to develop their own sophisticated guidance systems, precision machine tools and other advanced technology.
Europrop International (EPI) performed the first TP400-D6 engine control and monitoring system (CMS) test in Villaroche late in May, the consortium announced just before the show. The TP400 is the turboprop engine designed for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
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.
GKN Aerospace has won approval from Snecma Services to repair and overhaul CFM56-5B fan blades. The authorization covers the restoration of the blades’ overall length and midspan shrouds. Critical to the engine’s efficient operation, the blade length and midspan shroud dimensions erode over time.
France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
European engine manufacturers are joining forces on Vital, a research program co-funded by the European Commission that aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and noise emissions by commercial aircraft.
France’s Safran is here at the Dubai airshow for the first time since engine maker Snecma and electronics specialist Sagem merged. The group also includes Snecma’s landing gear and brake division.