Safran Helicopter Engines remains on track to certify four new engine programs this year: the Arrano 1A for the Airbus H160, Aneto 1k for the Leonardo AW189, Ardiden 1U for India’s light utility helicopter (LUH) program, and WZ16 for the Avicopter (China) AC352.
“Our ambition is to be the preferred helicopter engine supplier,” said Bruno Ballenger, executive vice president of programs for Safran Helicopter Engines. “We have 37 percent market share, a gain of four percent from 2017,” he said. The company plans to hold deliveries steady at 820 engines or more in 2019, comparable to 2018 results, he added.
Ballenger said the company is moving into new areas including the development of a new turboprop engine (Tech TP) in cooperation with the European Union’s (EU) Clean Sky 2 joint undertaking and working with Bell on its Nexus urban air mobility (UAM) vehicle. Ballenger said the powerplant for the latter would probably be based either on the company’s existing Arriel or Arrius engines but “optimized” for the vehicle.
According to Ballenger, using existing engine architecture would enable Safran to meet Bell’s “schedule target and conduct a flight demonstration as soon as possible.” He said testing on the Aneto 1K engine is largely complete and that endurance testing on the engine would start before the end of the month.
With regard to the Tech TP program, he said that Safran was discussing, but had yet to select an airframe that will serve as a flying testbed.