Safran Helicopter Engines, ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH (ZFL) and MT-Propeller have signed an agreement cooperation for the design of a turboprop engines for a future European drone.
This 100% European turboprop will derive from Safran's Ardiden 3 and use technologies matured through its Tech TP technological demonstrator, that was first tested in June 2019. Within this partnership, MT-Propeller will be responsible for the propeller and ZFL for the PAGB (propeller and accessory gearbox).
“This partnership lays the foundation of a solid cooperation between renown players 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”, comments Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP Programs.
This turboprop will be optimized for operation at medium and high altitude up to 13,716 meters (or 45,000 ft) and will benefit from an easy operability thanks to 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 program. 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.