By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | March 1, 2015
|Arrano engine. Photo courtesy Turbomeca|
The long-term engine of choice for X4, the prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ new medium class twin-engine rotorcraft, will be an uprated Turbomeca Arrano engine.
Airbus Helicopters has been running with two turboshaft engine options, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210E and Turbomeca’s Arrano, since the first design concept in 2012. However following the end of the preliminary phase of development the company has now revealed that it “has decided to amend the product positioning, consequently necessitating a significant engine power increase.”
According the Airbus Helicopter, Pratt & Whitney did not wish to continue with a growth path for the PW210E engine, while Turbomeca was willing to commit to the uprating of the Arrano. It is this engine that will now go forward into the X4’s full-scale development program.
The public unveiling of the X4 is anticipated as one of the major highlights of this month’s HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Fla. The prototype achieved power on late last year. The first flight is expected in the second half of 2015.
The X4 is destined to replace the company’s AS365 Dauphin and EC155 helicopters. It has been designed to offer customers improved performance, with lower fuel consumption and noise emissions.
An Airbus Helicopter statement emphasized that Pratt & Whitney Canada remained “a strong partner” in terms of supplying engines to the EC135 and EC175 helicopters, the latter of which suffered from lower than anticipated orders last year.
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