Leonardo and Safran partner for AW09 propulsion
January 26, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
Leonardo and Safran Helicopter Engines have joined forces to enhance the capabilities of the next generation AW09 single-engine helicopter. Leonardo’s AW09 production aircraft will feature the 1,000 shp class of power Arriel 2K engine, the newest generation of the Arriel family.
Leonardo and Safran Helicopter Engines have a longstanding partnership spanning from propulsion systems for light twins up to super medium class helicopters, in addition to this new commitment in the single-engine commercial market.
“Since the integration of Kopter into our organization and the introduction of the AW09 into our product range, we have firmly maintained our commitment to deliver to the market exactly what it expects from a single engine of the latest standards backed by an efficient and responsive global support network,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters
The new propulsion system is already installed on the latest AW09 prototype, PS4 (Pre Series 4), which is about to start flight test activities at Kopter’s facility in Mollis. PS4 includes all developments implemented and tested on P3, the previous prototype, allowing to reach the AW09 final configuration. PS5, the next and final prototype is planned to follow later in 2023.
“We will bring to the AW09 our strong expertise in single-engine helicopter applications together with the specific feature of the engine,” said Franck Saudo, CEO, Safran Helicopter Engines. “The Arriel 2K engine is the latest version of the well-known Arriel engine family and will clearly bring high level of capability, reliability and ease of operations to the AW09.”
The AW09 program performed major steps forward in 2022 in parallel to the integration of the production propulsion system, notes the companies, including flying the new and final main rotor blades and agreeing on the type certification basis with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).