Safran celebrates Arriel engine family 40th anniversary
This year Safran Helicopter Engines celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Arriel engine family. The first variants, the Arriel 1A for the AS365 Dauphin and the 1B for the AS350 Ecureuil, were certified in 1977.
The Arriel is one of the most popular helicopter engines ever built and remains one of Safran’s “best sellers”. Since 1977 more than 12,000 units have been built and 50 million flight hours logged. Every day the engine is used in all types of helicopter missions and has earned a reputation as a safe and reliable partner for operators flying EMS, search and rescue, law enforcement or maritime surveillance missions, often under demanding conditions.
The Arriel equips a wide range of helicopters, from first versions of the Squirrel and Dauphin, to new models of Airbus Helicopters H125, H130, H145 and H155. It is also a long-term Sikorsky partner, equipping models like the S-76A, S-76C+ and C++. This engine has a robust footprint in Asia, where it powers several Chinese Avicopter models, and has been recently selected by Korea Aerospace Industries for its new LCH and LAH helicopters. With power outputs ranging from 625 to over 1,000 shp, the Arriel family now powers over 40 different helicopter types.
The first Arriel prototype was designed in 1969 and its first ground run took place in September 1973. It flew for the first time aboard a Gazelle on 7 December 1974, from Safran Helicopter Engines flight test center at Pau Airport.
Since then, the engine has been continuously updated with the latest technologies. In 1996 the Arriel 2 was certified, featuring notably a new high pressure turbine and a Fadec to optimize engine operation and reduce pilot workload. The latest variant, the 2+ was certified in 2011 and features a wide range of technical innovations, notably in its turbine and compressor, including a new blade material and shape. The Arriel 2+ also features the latest generation of Fadec.
In June 2017 the 2L2, the most powerful Ariel variant with a take-off power rating of 1,024 shp, intended for Korea Aerospace Industries LAH, made its first ground run. Certification is planned for late 2020.
In terms of reliability, durability and operability, the Arriel has become an industry benchmark. It is considered as reliable in its sector as the renowned CFM56.
An Arriel-powered helicopter takes off every 15 seconds – all day, every day.
- © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran