There’s plenty of news from Safran Helicopter Engines this week: its Arriel 2H is now ready for service in China following Validation of Type Certification (VTC) from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC); and it has also just signed a four-year maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) support contract with CHC Helicopter.
The Arriel 2H engine powers the Avicopter AC312E; the VTC (based on the EASA type certificate the engine obtained in 2018) confirms that the imported engine conforms with Chinese airworthiness standards.
The Arriel 2H (developed from the 2+) is one of the ‘most powerful Arriel variants’, according to Safran. It has a take-off power rating of 986 shp, and over the past 40 years, over 12,00 units have been produced – logging more than 50 million flight hours cumulatively.
Nicolas Billecocq, Safran Helicopter Engines Vice President Light Helicopter Engines Program, said:
“This Chinese certification is an important milestone for the Arriel engine program. It emphasises our ability to support new Chinese helicopter entry-into-service”.
In addition, a new four-year contract between Safran and CHC Helicopter, which covers roughly 70 engines, formalises an MRO and standard exchanges agreement supporting Arriel 1S, 2S1 and 2S2 engines for CHC’s S-76 fleet and Arriel 2C powering the AS365 Dauphin.
The contract will be managed by the Corporate Support department of Safran Helicopter Engines, and CHC engines will be repaired at centres in Tarnos (France), Grand Prairie (United States) and Xerem (Brazil).
Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice-President Support and Service Olivier Le Merrer said: “it is with great pride that Safran Helicopter Engines enters into this partnership with CHC Helicopters. We appreciate the opportunity to support their S-76 and Dauphin fleets. Delivering best-in-class solutions will be a top priority for us.”
Meanwhile, Safran has announced that DRF Luftrettung of Germany is its first major customer to make use of its Premium Health Monitoring service through Airbus’ Helionix avionic platform. The service allows customers to track engine life data, in the hope of reducing unplanned events, with the life of the engine being improved through the early detection of low signals, prognosis analysis and maintenance plan customisation. Health Monitoring is available at the ‘Essential’ level, where the customer is responsible for data collection and analysis, and the ‘Premium’ one where maintenance recommendations by Safran experts are tailored to the customer’s fleet, missions and usage rates. H145 Helionix and H225 M-ARMS enlarge the data collection systems compatible with Safran Health Monitoring services.
Elsewhere, the Belgian Air Force is the newest customer for Safran’s Expert Link video assistance service, which allows the customer to connect through a secure live video feed with Safran helicopter engine experts to facilitate technical diagnosis or guide them through a maintenance task. “Our technicians have been equipped with tablets to use Expert link and benefit from Safran expertise during troubleshooting procedures,” commented Captain Anthony Van Hal, Belgian Air Force Technical Officer. “It will ease the diagnosis process in our main operating bases and during operational deployments.”