The FAA has granted type certification validation for Safran’s Arrano 1A turboshaft with Fadec, the powerplant in the new Airbus H160 medium-twin helicopter. The approval is a significant milestone in obtaining overall FAA certification approval for the helicopter, which is expected later this year. EASA certified the H160 last June, but travel restrictions triggered by the global pandemic had delayed FAA validation.
Spawned from the European Commission’s Clean Sky program and Tech 800 technology demonstration engine, the Aranno turboshaft was first bench-tested in 2013. The Arrano 1A, which produces up to 1,280 shp, first flew on the H160 in 2016. According to Safran, the engine delivers 10 to 15 percent better specific fuel consumption than comparable legacy powerplants.
Design features of the Arrano 1A include an annular air inlet, integrating inlet guide vanes, a two-stage centrifugal compressor driven by a single-stage high-pressure turbine, a reverse flow combustion chamber, and a single-stage low-pressure turbine driving a reduction gearbox. The high-pressure shaft drives the accessory gearbox. Key components of the engine use additive manufacturing—for example, lasers are used to fuse compounds to produce the combustion chamber injectors—reducing the part count and speeding production.