Russian Helicopters is relaunching production of the Mi-34S1 light piston helicopter and simultaneously working on a turbine version, the Mi-34S2 Sapsan, powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2F. The Sapsan (Russian for peregrine falcon) is expected to be certified under U.S. FAR 27 and European CS 27 regulations.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for Turbomeca Arrius 2F turboshaft engines, citing insufficient clearance between the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead. According to AD 2008-NE-43, investigations have shown that both the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead were compliant with the original approved design.
Israel’s Urban Aeronautics is ground-testing its unmanned Mule fancraft, an unconventional rotorcraft featuring two shrouded main rotors in tandem configuration that should one day have a manned version for rescue missions in cities. The first untethered flight of the Mule, originally scheduled to take place in the spring, has been postponed until September or October.
Turbomeca is pressing ahead with a radical design for a new generation of helicopter engines to deliver a quantum leap in operational efficiency. “If we do not shoot for a 30- to 50-percent improvement in fuel burn for 20 to 30 years from now, the helicopter will be no more than an airshow attraction and will no longer be a business tool,” the French company’s president Pierre Fabre told AIN.
Microturbo is ground testing its e-APU, a new auxiliary power unit designed for new-generation business aircraft that are expected to need more electrical power. The company projects certification and first deliveries in early 2012.
Snecma launched the Silvercrest core-engine demonstrator program in 2006, built the engine in 2007 and successfully completed testing of it in March 2008. Now the company is continuing its talks with airframers to find a first application for the 9,500- to 12,000-pound-thrust engine. “The Silvercrest is being considered for many programs,” said Laurence Finet, general manager of the Silvercrest program.
Microturbo (Booth No. 1143) is ground testing its e-APU, a new auxiliary power unit designed for new-generation business aircraft that are expected to need more electrical power. The company projects certification and first deliveries in early 2012.
Helicopter turboshaft manufacturers are incorporating new technologies in their engines to lower fuel burn, enhance capabilities and reduce operating costs. The major manufacturers are developing engines to meet these demands, along with the need for more power and lower emissions.
Goodrich is moving the technology of dual-channel full-authority digital engine controls (Fadec) into smaller and smaller turboshaft engines. At Heli-Expo’09, the company (Booth No. 3241) is showing dual-channel Fadec systems like the unit installed on the 1,050-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S that powers Sikorsky’s new S-76D, which made its first flight on February 7.
A prevailing gloomy economic outlook notwithstanding, Turbomeca projected an air of optimism at a Saturday afternoon press briefing when Pierre Fabre, the company’s chairman and CEO, declared that the French turboshaft engine manufacturer has “long-term confidence in the helicopter market.” He said Turbomeca’s immediate goal is to stabilize activity at the same high level achieved in 2008 when it built 1,313 engines and recorded “the best ove