Heli-Expo 2010: Turbomeca working on alternative engine for Chinese EC175
Turbomeca is working with Chinese manufacturer AVIC on an alternative engine for the EC175/Z-15 helicopter.
Speaking on the eve of Heli-Expo in Houston, CEO Pierre Fabre told reporters that the company was working with the Chinese on a development of its Ardiden engine, called the WZ-16. The WZ-16 will be a derivative of the Ardiden 3 which is also going to be fitted to the Kamov Ka-62.
The Ardiden engine is already flying in the HAL Dhruv, Advanced Light Helicopter, but the uprated versions, will be capable of producing 1,800-2,000 shp, making them ideal for six-eight tonne helicopters.
It follows the first flight ceremony of the EC175 in Marseille back in December in which Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling revealed that the Chinese were looking to an alternative powerplant to that being used in the EC175, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C. Fabre said he was confident of achieving a 10-15 % improvement in fuel burn on the Canadian engine.
The company revealed engine sales had dipped by 15 % selling 300 fewer engines in 2009 compared to 2008. The company was spending 11 % of its turnover on research and development and working on reducing the rate of in-flight shut-downs with the aim by 40 % by 2016.
Fabre said he was looking to Asia for increased sales in the next 30 years, pointing that China only has around 600 helicopters but could see equal the 6000 or so helicopters operating in the United States in the next three decades. In 2009 60 of engines were to replace old engines, with 40 % new sales, Fabre believes that by 2039, 60 % of sales would be for new engines.
Email this to a friend.