Cessna chooses Safran Silvercrest engine for its new business jet

Cessna has announced the selection of the Silvercrest engine for its new Citation Longitude business jet, slated to enter service in 2017. Marc Ventre, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Operations, explains the challenges facing Safran as it enters the business jet engine market, and our outlook in this market.

What does Cessna's selection of the Silvercrest engine mean for Safran?
Marc Ventre : We are especially proud that Cessna has chosen the Silvercrest engine to power its Citation Longitude super mid-size business jet (a class of mid/high-end bizjets with long range and large cabins). This selection of the Silvercrest engine confirming our original decision to develop a new engine for business aircraft in this class. This was considered a risky decision at the time, given the generally closed business aircraft market, with highly demanding customers who do not easily change suppliers. But today we hope to find other applications for this new family of engines, because leading manufacturers have plans for other aircraft in this class.

What advantages does Silvercrest offer compared to current engines?
M. V. : Silvercrest combines the best technologies developed by Snecma for commercial aero-engines with those developed by Turbomeca for helicopter engines. Its design is based on an axial-centrifugal compressor, with the axial section calling on Snecma's technologies and the centrifugal stage drawing on Turbomeca's expertise. This original design, which enhances performance, weight and volume, reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15% and cuts NOx emissions and noise in half. Furthermore, it significantly decreases maintenance costs. All of these characteristics perfectly match current requirements for a long-range business jet.

What kind of opportunities does the business aviation market offer Safran?
M. V. : A few years ago, we decided to enter this market, which harbors significant growth potential, with an installed base at least equal to that of commercial airplanes. The Silvercrest engine also expands Snecma's lineup, and for the first time we are developing a civilian powerplant solely under its name. For Safran, this new engine family represents a significant new growth driver in the civil aviation market.

Silverscrest program milestones

  • October 2006: launch of core demonstrator program
  • End 2007: first ground test of core demonstrator
  • End 2010: start of full scale development
  • Summer 2012: first ground test of complete engine
  • Early 2013: flight tests
  • 2015: certification