At a Sunday morning press event, Turbomeca chairman and CEO Olivier Andriès listed the French turbine engine manufacturer’s 2011 successes, including a recovery in production numbers from the 2010 low of 800. Turbomeca delivered 950 turboshaft engines last year, and expects to produce approximately 1,100 before the end of 2012.
At Heli-Expo today, Eurocopter unveiled the EC130 T2, an updated version of its venerable single-engine helicopter. It also announced orders for 105 of the new aircraft from seven launch customers: Maverick Helicopters, Papillon Helicopters, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Scandinavian Helicopter Group, Air Commander, Europavia and Enloe FlightCare. The EC130 T2 is powered by the Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine, which provides 10 percent more average power and lower specific fuel consumption than the original powerplant and has a higher time between overhaul interval.
Turbine engine inlet filter specialist Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has completed a year marked by new products, a new St. Louis facility, and delivery of its 5,000th inlet barrier filter system.
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.
The in-development Kamov Ka-226T light twin, a Turbomeca-powered version of the Russian coaxial-rotor helicopter, has taken part in research training for the Winter Olympics that are to take place in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
EASA certified the Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshaft that powers the Kamov Ka-226T light twin, Kamov parent company Russian Helicopters announced this week. The Ka-226T is a coaxial-rotor helicopter that features a service ceiling of 24,000 feet, according to the manufacturer. It seats eight, including the pilot, and has an mtow of 7,900 pounds.
During the China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin, Turbomeca announced its Arriel 2B1A engine is to power the Avicopter AC311.
As the Eurocopter EC145 T2 light twin helicopter has completed “hot and high” testing, the manufacturer has released “promising” performance estimates.
The top three spots for product support among turbofan builders remain unchanged this year from last year’s rankings: Williams retains the number-one position, followed by Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney Canada, separated this year by one hundredth of a point.
Eurocopter has fully launched the replacement program for its AS365/EC155 Dauphin and is targeting 2016 for entry into service for the first iteration, with a more advanced version to enter service several years later. Codenamed X4, the helicopter will feature a radically new cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and low-noise main rotor blades.