Airbus Helicopters, Safran To Team On VTOL Technologies

 - June 19, 2019, 9:39 PM

Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines are teaming to demonstrate technologies that reduce CO2 and sound emissions for future vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The two companies signed a letter of intent at this week’s Paris Air Show to jointly investigate a variety of technologies including electrification, higher-efficiency gas turbines, alternative fuels, and advanced engine architectures that reduce the acoustic footprint of turbines as part of the EU-funded Horizon Europe program.

Airbus and Safran have previously worked on propulsion systems, including the electric power “eco mode” for turbine twin-engine helicopters that enables engine pausing and restarting in flight. The technology generates fuel savings and increased range and will be tested on the Airbus Racer high-speed compound helicopter demonstrator. Safran has the “widest gas turbine power range and a complete range of electric systems for hybrid electric propulsive solutions, in addition to strong testing, qualification, and certification expertise. We are very pleased to partner with Airbus Helicopters in this journey for a lower environmental footprint of air transport,” said Franck Saudo, CEO, Safran Helicopter Engines.

“This future cooperation with Safran Helicopter Engines will ensure that we are in the best position to leverage and mature new propulsion methods that will support the development of cleaner and quieter helicopter platforms. The Horizon Europe program is the ideal solution to pull skills and know-how from across Europe, and I strongly believe in its ability to drive long-lasting change in our industry,” said Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even.