Safran joins team to design new engine for European unmanned applications

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-percent European turboprop will be a derivative of Safran’s Ardiden 3 engine and will use technologies matured through its Tech TP technological demonstrator, which ran for the first time in June 2019.

This 100-percent European turboprop engine will be a derivative of Safran’s Ardiden 3 engine. Safran Image
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Within this partnership, MT-Propeller will be responsible for the propeller and ZFL for the propeller and accessory gearbox (PAGB).

Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopter Engines’ EVP of programs, said, “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 percent 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 feet 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.

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

The Ardiden 3 is a new-generation turboshaft engine in the 1,700- to 2,000-shaft-horsepower (shp) range. Two European Aviation Safety Agency (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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