Engines for helicopter : Saffron sees big, very big

Safran Helicopter Engines (Safran ET) strengthens considerably in the engines of high power. Thus, the subsidiary of Safran has launched on Tuesday a new family available for the market now and called Aneto, the name of the very famous and highest peak in the pyrenees, which rises to 3404 meters. Designed for devices super-medium and heavy-duty trucks, the family Aneto will offer at least three versions, which will cover the power range from 2,500 to more than 3,000 horses. First war for Saffron-ET, Leonardo will remotoriser the AW189 with the engine Aneto 1-K (2.500 hp) and offer it in a dual source to the side of the CT7 General Electric (GE). This device will enter into service in late 2018.

“In this family, there are traits of character in common and, at the same time, each engine will have its own personality and its characteristics. This is the message of Safran ET”, stressed at The Forum the director of the program of engines of strong power, Florent Chauvancy.

For Safran ET, the margin of growth in this segment is real because over 2,500 horses, “nothing exists for the moment, both in ourselves and in our competitors on this segment of the market,” says Florent Chauvancy. “We are the world leaders in the engines of helicopters by having a range is very impressive, as much on the top end of the range, we do not hold a leadership position. So it’s a real progression margin, and an axis of growth which we believe”, he says. Because the family Aneto is not exclusively dedicated to Leonardo. “We hope that the future of the Aneto will also in other hélicoptéristes, beginning at Airbus Helicopters. There is no ambiguity in relation to this,” he says.

“We also want to show the market that this engine fits in the tradition of the engines developed by Safran ET and at the same time push some concepts beyond what we had done to date, accurate Florent Chauvancy. We desire to offer to the market an effective engine and also be in capacity to meet all the needs of the market and not only the need for power”.

New markets?

Saffron HE considers the market of helicopters, super-medium and heavy 7.400 devices (modernization and new cell) over the next 20 years. An estimate that also includes markets that are not accessible to Saffron ET.”We want to take an important place in this market where Saffron HE already has the engines Makila (family H215 and H225, editor’s note) and the RTM 322 (NH90, AW101 and Apache uk, editor’s note). What we aspire is to be an actor much more important or dominant in this market segment”. Safran ET does not preclude partnerships with countries such as Russia and China.

“The market for Russian or chinese will be difficult but may be accessible. For example, China has needs in emergency (EMS) or to the police. The future is not written and there are different solutions to access them. Potentially partnerships, for example, are possible”, explains Florent Chauvancy.

On the other hand, Safran ET will not respond to the invitation to tender ITEP, which is a research program of the US Army. General Electric and Pratt & Whitney Canada have the ambition to develop an engine from 3,000-horsepower to remotoriser the Black Hawk and Apache of the us armed forces in 2025. By the way, if Airbus developed a device in this market, “this will clearly be one of our goals as if Leonardo was developing a device heavier… We do will devastate any of the projects from a back of the hand”, ensures the director of the program of engines of high power.

This is what serves as the R&T

This new engine family incorporates advanced technologies from R&T (particularly of the TECH 3000) Saffron-ET. The manufacturer collects the fruit of his investment in the R&T (Research and Technology) and R&D (research and Development). As to why it is not useless to invest heavily for a general direction to sustain an industrial enterprise and open markets. Saffron HE has invested in the case “several hundred million euros” to expand this family, according to Florent Chauvancy.

The launch of the engine family Aneto “is the culmination of a major programme of acquisition and maturation of technologies started several years ago. (…) We are convinced that Aneto is going to offer to the market new levels of performance combined with low usage costs”, assured the president of Safran ET, Bruno Even, who is quoted in the press release.

Behind the Aneto 1-K, Safran ET will continue to gradually introduce the technological building blocks developed within the project Tech 3000 in one or two new engines which are interspersed between 2.500 and 3.100 horses. And this in function of what will be asked for the market. For the Aneto 1-K, “all the technological components have been individually tested to such an extent that now we are able to offer this engine for sale to motorize devices in development or existing,” says Florent Chavancy.

Predictive Maintenance

The objective of Saffron HE is to propose to hélicoptéristes an engine capable of increasing the performance of a device (+ 25% power) and expanding its missions. Clearly this power range in terms of power/weight ratio or volume/power, must have a significant competitive advantage. As well, Saffron, HE has been able to present an interesting alternative in the framework of the remotorisation of the AW189. The manufacturer has also worked a lot since the phase of design on the maintenance concepts of the Aneto 1-K as well as its costs and its ease of use.

“Our goal was to develop an engine with operating costs low, says Florent Chauvancy. We tried to put the sliders on the point at optimum, so as to offer a solution that can meet the operational needs of the operators as well as the technical needs of the hélicoptéristes”. Saffron HE wished to be able to offer rates of contract at the time of flight very competitive while lengthening the time of maintenance. In particular, thanks to features that are connected such as the health monitoring (predictive maintenance).

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