Safran's Arrano helicopter engine. (Remy Bertrand/Safran)
Safran has received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Arrano 1A engine, which powers Airbus’ new medium utility H160 helicopter.
The Arrano engine, which is in the 1,100 to 1,300 shp range, boasts a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and requires half the servicing time of previous generation engines, according to Safran. The H160 made its first flight with the Arrano in January 2016.
“We are proud to announce Arrano certification here at le Bourget," said Arrano program director Cyrille Ressejac-Duparc on June 18 at the Paris Air Show. “This engine lies at the vanguard of Safran Helicopter Engines’ new engine range and its performance is unrivaled. It features low operational and support costs, easy maintenance and a lower environmental footprint. After a test campaign of 10,000 hours, including 2,000 in flight, we are now ready to support H160 entry-into-service.”
Airbus expects the H160 to receive type certification by EASA later this year, followed by FAA approval about six months later. Airbus plans to reach a production rate of 30 aircraft per year by 2022, ramping up to 50 once it enters service with the French military as the H160M Guépard, or Cheetah.
So far, Airbus officials say orders for the H160 have been for VIP and EMS configurations, though they hope the oil and gas market will embrace it as well.