Turbomachinery and propulsion systems for tomorrow's aircraft and rocket engines.

At Safran, we're exploring a number of different technologies to help us develop engines that are quieter, greener and less expensive.

Protecting our environment, a top priority

Reducing the environmental footprint of air transport is a major challenge for Safran. Our objectives are aligned with those defined by ACARE (Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe). Comprising government, European Commission and industry representatives, this organization has set the following goals for 2050

  • 75% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions ;
  • 90% reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) ;
  • 65% decrease in perceived noise.
Safran Aircraft Engines and Mecachrome signed on April 14th, 2014 the procurement contract for titanium-aluminide (TiAl) blades on the low-pressure turbine of the CFM International  LEAP engine. The contract was signed at a ceremony attended by Stéphane Le Foll, French Minister for Agriculture, Agrifoods and Forestry, government spokesman and a member of the French parliament representing the Sarthe region.
The new LEAP aircraft engine

 

New-generation engines

The new LEAP turbofan, successor to the CFM56, the best selling engine in the history of civil aviation, features an array of advanced technologies: lightweight composite fan, high-efficiency low-pressure turbine and more. It will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15% versus today's engines. The LEAP has already been chosen by Airbus for the A320neo, Boeing for the 737 MAX and Comac for the C919, with service entry planned in 2016.

We are also hard at work on new rocket engines, the key to a new generation of propulsion systems that offer higher performance, less complexity and greater cost-competitiveness.

Technological breakthroughs

Safran teams are exploring several promising paths to come up with more efficient, more ecological propulsion systems. Our current focus is on several breakthrough technologies:

  • Open rotor engines, with an innovative layout and advanced technologies, most notably counter-rotating fans.
  • Hybrid helicopter powerplants, combining an electric motor and a conventional turboshaft engine.
  • Electrical systems that will replace the currently used hydraulic and pneumatic systems on aircraft.

Collaborative innovation

Designing these breakthrough engines is a real tour de force. Engineers have to reconcile a number of complex requirements, and the optimum tradeoff can only be found when viewing the aircraft as an integrated whole. Safran therefore focuses on collaborative innovation to meet this goal. We are involved in a number of major research programs, and we team up with many industry counterparts, especially aircraft manufacturers.