250,000 flight hours for Turbomeca engines powering the helicopters of RTE

Le Bourget, 23rd June 2011

Today at the International Paris Air Show, Olivier Andriès, Chairman and CEO of Turbomeca (Safran group) and Régis Magnac, Director of RTE, company in charge of the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE), are celebrating 250,000 flight hours for Turbomeca engines used in helicopter aerial work for surveillance and maintenance of the French electricity transmission network (high and very high voltage).

Turbomeca has been supplying engines for RTE's helicopter fleet for over 50 years, from Artouste to Arriel engines.

The family of Turbomeca Arrius engines relies on a solid experience of more than 2,700 delivered engines, accumulating five million flight hours. Today, it powers the newest generation single and twin-engine light helicopters.
Turbomeca has been producing 10,000 Arriel engines. The Arriel family flying records total 32 Million flying hours, remaining the most reliable engine in its class.

The fleet of RTE currently comprises 11 helicopters: nine single-engine Ecureuil helicopters equipped with Turbomeca Arriel engines (seven dedicated to power line inspections and two dedicated to pylon erection operations and mountain environment missions), as well as two twin-turbine helicopters equipped with Arrius engines (one Ecureuil for maintenance operations with operators working in human external cargo baskets and one EC 135 for line inspections in Paris area).

The helicopters are used for maintenance and repair inspections on the 100,000 kilometers of electrical power lines in the RTE network, carried out by 120 collaborators including 13 pilots and 13 mechanics, supported by engineering experts, site managers and linesmen authorized for aerial work on voltage.

RTE works in close partnership with Turbomeca and its unit specializing in flight tests, carrying out hundreds of hours of flight tests for RTE. This collaboration made it possible to develop specific equipment for the optimization of human external cargo basket operations on high voltage power lines.

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Turbomeca (Safran group) is the leading helicopter engine manufacturer, and has produced over 68 000 turbines based on its own designs since the company was founded. Dedicated to 2,350 customers in 155 countries, Turbomeca provides a proximity service thanks to its 16 sites, 26 Maintenance Centers, 24 Repair & Overhaul Centers and 90 Field representatives and Field technicians. Microturbo, the subsidiary of Turbomeca, is the European leader in turbojet engines for missiles, drones and auxiliary power units.
For more information : www.turbomeca.fr and www.safran-group.com

RTE is the operator of the transmission of French electricity. Its mission is the operation, maintenance and development of the French electricity transmission network (high and very high voltage. It guarantees the smooth operation and power system reliability.
RTE transports electricity between electricity suppliers (French and European) and consumers, whether electricity distributors (ERDF and local distribution companies) or industrial consumers directly connected to the transmission system.
With 100,000 km of lines between 63,000 and 400,000 volts and 46 cross-border lines, the network operated by RTE is the largest in Europe. RTE achieved a turnover of € 4 396 million in 2010 and has 8,500 employees.
For more information : www.rte-france.com

Turbomeca (groupe Safran)
Press Contacts

Bettina FREY
Communications Director
Tel +33(0)5 59 90 96 23
bettina.frey@turbomeca.fr

Chantal REISS
External Communications Manager
Tél +33 (0)5 59 90 96 40
chantal.reiss@turbomeca.fr

RTE
Press contact
Alexia Rière
Press Manager
Tel +33 (0)1 41 02 15 69
Portable : +33 (0)6 60 54 22 17
alexia.riere@rte-france.com