NBAA Convention News

Turbomeca Moving Forward with Six Turboshaft Engines

 - October 25, 2014, 7:00 PM

Safran’s Turbomeca unit has several turboshaft engines across several market segments in development but nevertheless wants to address and compete in another market, namely the 2,000- to 3,000-shp segment.

The most recent EASA type certificate the French engine manufacturer has received was for the 660-shp Arrius 2B2 Plus. It powers the Airbus Helicopters EC135 T3 light twin, which is expected to be certified soon and enter into service early next year. Maxime Faribault, executive vice president for OEM sales, told AIN that Turbomeca counts on increasing its market share on the EC135, also offered with a Pratt & Whitney Canada engine. For the T2/P2 version, the company claims a 50-percent share.

The 2B2 Plus delivers a 6-percent increase in power in hot and high conditions, compared to the previous 2B2 version. This is a major contribution to the T3’s ability to carry more than 440 pounds of extra payload at the same altitude, according to Turbomeca. “Accelerations are fast,” Faribault added.

The time between overhauls stands at 4,000 hours and the direct maintenance cost is said to be unchanged from that of the 2B2.

For the Airbus AS365 Dauphin N3e medium twin, Turbomeca is waiting for Airbus test pilots' feedback to fine-tune the Arriel 2N's Fadec. EASA certification of the engine is thus anticipated next spring, at the earliest. The Arriel 2N features a 20-percent increase in power, making it close to 1,000 shp, and a lower specific fuel consumption.

Direct maintenance costs are reduced by 10 percent. “This is due to the move from a single- to a dual-channel Fadec,” Faribault said. A dual-channel Fadec no longer needs the complex hydromechanical backup.

For the 1,100-shp Arrano 1A, which is to compete with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210E on the still-under-wraps Airbus X4 medium twin, Turbomeca is running three prototypes on testbeds. Faribault said that so far they have performed as planned or even better. “This is especially true for fuel burn, which will be 10- to 15-percent below that of existing engines,” he asserted.

For the Bell 505 JetRanger X light single, the first three flightworthy Arrius 2R engines were delivered in August. The Arrius 2R is a derivative of the Arrius 2F and will be in the 500-shp class, too. A major difference lies in engine control, with a dual-channel Fadec for the 2R. Moreover, the gearbox's aluminum case is now machined (as opposed to forged), resulting in a very compact design, according to Faribault.

In the Ardiden 3 family, Turbomeca is cooperating with Avic Engine on the Ardiden 3C/WZ16 for the AC352 medium twin. The AC352 is the Chinese counterpart of the Airbus EC175. Turbomeca is to deliver its first production shipset late next year or early in 2016. Avic is in charge of the 1,800-shp engine's compressor and the accessory gearbox. “We have assisted them in the design process,” Faribault said, noting the cooperation has taken longer than expected. After a number of delays and little communication, the AC352 is expected to fly by the end of the year.

For Russian Helicopters' Ka-62, the 1,680-shp Ardiden 3G was delivered last year, in eight flightworthy examples. The continually slipping schedule now calls for the first flight to happen by year-end.

Higher in the product range, the Makila 2B is to power the EC225e. Flightworthy engines have been delivered to Airbus. “The Makila 2B offers a 9-percent power increase in one-engine-inoperative conditions, which translates into more payload,” Faribault said.

Turbomeca wants to go beyond the Makila and the RTM 322, both in the 2,000-shp class, and therefore, plans to run a 3,000-shp demonstrator engine next year. This will be the first step toward flying a new product in 2018, providing an application is found. The target competing engine is the GE CT7.