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.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Engines
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft powerplants.
Rolls-Royce has nearly completed development of its 475-shp RR500 turboshaft, but is still waiting for an aircraft manufacturer or modifier to specify the engine for a new project. Recent testing includes a 500-hour endurance run and simulated altitude trials. The engine will log about 1,000 test hours. Still to be performed is a 1,000-cycle test. Development testing is expected to be finished by the end of next month.
Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 9040) has almost completed development of the 475-shp RR500 turboshaft but is still waiting for an aircraft manufacturer or modifier to specify the engine for a new project. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis-based engine manufacturer has moved into full-rate production with the 300-shp RR300 turboshaft, which powers the Robinson R66 light single. Improvements are also underway on the M250, to which both of the newer engines trace their roots.
North Flight Data Systems (Booth No. 7841) has announced it will integrate and certify its lightweight aircraft recording system (Lars) in the Bell 407. In cooperation with helicopter services giant PHI and Rolls-Royce, North Flight will be integrating its voice, video and flight-data recording systems into a Bell 407 airframe.
Air Technology Engines (ATE) of Naples, Fla., signed a T53 service center agreement with Honeywell, authorizing ATE to repair and overhaul Honeywell’s T53 series engine, which powers the Bell UH-1H Huey and other helicopters.
Sikorsky has selected GE Aviation (Booth No. 1217) to provide the GE YT706-GE-700R engines and engineering support for Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider program. The Raider is the military version of the experimental X2, a single-engine rotorcraft with coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller. The Fadec-controlled GE engine offers 2,500 to 3,000 shp and is based on the GE700/CT7 family. GE said it developed the GE3000 for medium-lift applications and this engine could be incorporated into the Raider in the future.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 3317) is busy with developments on the PT6C-67E, which powers the Eurocopter EC175 medium twin, and the PW210 family, the powerplant for the Sikorsky S-76D and the AgustaWestland AW169 medium twins.
The PW210S (Sikorsky S-76D) and the PW210A (AgustaWestland AW169) have different certification schedules. The FAA certified the 1,077-shp PW210S last December after a postponement due to delays in the S-76D program.
Oliver Andriès, From Ministries To Industry
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.
Sikorsky Aircraft named 35 suppliers participating in an industry-funded effort to build two prototype S-97 Raider helicopters for evaluation by the U.S. military. The Raider is a follow-on to the company’s X2 technology demonstrator with coaxial contra-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller.