The announcement of their ‘green goal’ comes ahead of the upcoming Horizon Europe research programme. A letter of intent (loI) between the two companies was signed at the Paris Air Show, a press release stated that this ‘formalised their willingness to jointly demonstrate future technologies that will significantly contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and sound levels for future vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platforms’.
Franck Saudo, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO, said: “This future co-operation with Airbus in the frame of the Horizon Europe programme is a great opportunity to prepare propulsion systems for future helicopters. Today, Safran is the most capable provider of integrated and efficient propulsive systems, with the widest gas turbine power range and a complete range of electric systems for hybrid electric propulsive solutions, in addition to strong testing, qualification and certification expertise. We are very pleased to partner with Airbus Helicopters in this journey for a lower environmental footprint of air transport.”
In other news, EASA certified the Safran Arrano 1A engine, which had its first flight aboard the H160 helicopter in January 2016. Arrano features a new-generation digital control system that offers greater in-flight responsiveness, enhancing both safety and pilot handling. It combines a highly efficient two-stage centrifugal compressor, developed within the European Clean Sky program, with new-design variable inlet guide vanes (IGV). Through improving the engine’s thermal efficiency, these components contribute to reducing fuel consumption by 15 per cent, over other in-service engines. The gyratory combustion chamber features fuel injectors made using additive manufacturing (3D-printing) techniques. These enhance engine start performance in all weathers and altitudes and contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
“Arrano is a major asset of the H160 and one that is fully aligned with the programme’s overall ambition of bringing innovations for greater customer satisfaction, thanks to its lower fuel consumption, its high level of performance, and its maintenance plan that has been harmonised with that of the helicopter’s. Its certification passes a new milestone on the helicopter’s entry-into-service roadmap”, said Bernard Fujarski, Airbus Helicopters H160 Program Director.