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Safran joins team to design new turboprop for European unmanned applications


23 September 2019, Bordes

Safran Helicopter Engines, ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH (ZFL) and MT-Propeller have agreed to cooperate on a new turboprop engine intended for European unmanned applications. This 100% European turboprop will be derivated of Safran’s Ardiden 3 and use technologies matured through its Tech TP technological demonstrator, which ran for the first time in June 2019. Within this partnership, MT-Propeller will be responsible for the propeller and ZFL for the PAGB (propeller and accessory gearbox). 

Commented Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP Programs, “This partnership lays the foundation of a solid cooperation between renowed actors in the field of aircraft propulsion. It will offer the European aerospace industry a 100% European engine solution for new unmanned applications, featuring high levels of design maturity and competitive operating and maintenance costs”.

This turboprop will be optimized for operation at medium and high altitude, up to 45,000 feets and will benefit from an easy operability  thanks to a unique throttle and a full authority digital engine and propeller control (FADEPC) for both power and propeller pitch.  

Tech TP is part of the Clean Sky 2 research and innovation programme. Its aims are to validate the technologies required to develop a new-generation turboprop,  featuring a compact, lightweight architecture and offering 15% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over current engines. 

The Ardiden 3 is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700 to 2,000 shp power range. Two EASA-certified models, the Ardiden 3C and 3G, have completed over 10,000 hours of tests, confirming high levels of design maturity and competitive operating and maintenance costs. In addition, more than 250 Ardiden 1 engines are already in service, completing over 200,000 flying hours. The Ardiden 3 features a remarkably compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and low cost-of-ownership.

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 92,000 employees and sales of 21 billion euros in 2018. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

Safran Helicopter Engines is the world’s leading manufacturer of helicopter engines, with more than 72,000 produced since being founded. It offers the widest range of helicopter turboshafts in the world and has more than 2,500 customers in 155 countries.

ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH  is a worldwide operating aviation company and a 100% subsidiary of the ZF Friedrichshafen AG. With its EASA and FAA privileges it is active in design and development, manufacturing and maintenance of helicopter transmission systems and geared applications for fix wing aircrafts and engines.  

MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH  was founded in 1981 by Gerd Muehlbauer and is well known in the world of general aviation as the leading manufacturer of natural composite propellers for single and twin engine aircraft, airships, wind tunnels and other special applications. More than 75,000 MT-Propeller blades with 25,000+ propeller systems are in service since 38 years approaching more than 150 million flying hours, from private to commercial applications like the BAE Jetstream 41 Aircraft.

For more information : www.safran-group.com and www.safran-helicopter-engines.com  / Follow @Safran and @SafranHCEngines on Twitter.

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