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.
The in-development Kamov Ka-226T light twin, a Turbomeca-powered version of the Russian coaxial-rotor helicopter, has taken part in research training for the Winter Olympics that are to take place in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
EASA certified the Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshaft that powers the Kamov Ka-226T light twin, Kamov parent company Russian Helicopters announced this week. The Ka-226T is a coaxial-rotor helicopter that features a service ceiling of 24,000 feet, according to the manufacturer. It seats eight, including the pilot, and has an mtow of 7,900 pounds.
During the China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin, Turbomeca announced its Arriel 2B1A engine is to power the Avicopter AC311.
As the Eurocopter EC145 T2 light twin helicopter has completed “hot and high” testing, the manufacturer has released “promising” performance estimates.
The top three spots for product support among turbofan builders remain unchanged this year from last year’s rankings: Williams retains the number-one position, followed by Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney Canada, separated this year by one hundredth of a point.
Eurocopter has fully launched the replacement program for its AS365/EC155 Dauphin and is targeting 2016 for entry into service for the first iteration, with a more advanced version to enter service several years later. Codenamed X4, the helicopter will feature a radically new cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and low-noise main rotor blades.
At Turbomeca’s factory in Bordes, southwest France, 2011 production is expected to be close to 1,000 turboshaft engines. The number of annual deliveries dwindled to 800 in 2010, after an average of 750 in the early 2000s and a peak at 1,300 in 2008.
Turbomeca has received EASA certification for its 950-shp Arriel 2D turboshaft, destined to power the Eurocopter AS350B3e Squirrel. The Arriel 2D is said to provide better performance (its predecessor stood at 848 shp) for lower fuel consumption. The initial 4,000-hour TBO is expected to increase to 6,000 hours.
Certification of the Avicopter AC352 medium twin (previously known as the Z15, the Chinese version of the jointly developed Eurocopter EC175) is now pegged for 2014, two years later than the original 2012 target. The AC352 passed some static tests in March. The Ardiden 3C/WZ-16 engine, a Turbomeca-Avic Engine Dongan cooperation, is to be certified in 2013.