Turbomeca has run the first example of its all-new Ardiden turboshaft at its Tarbes, France plant and expects to achieve a first flight in July 2006.

The new engine has been developed by the French company and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) under an industrial contract signed in February 2003. The Ardiden 1H will initially power HAL’s twin-engined Dhruv helicopter.

HAL has an 11% stake in development of the Ardiden and will eventually manufacture up to 21% of the engine in a three-stage process that will see the Indian company build the gearbox, power turbine and part of the high-pressure (HP) compressor.

Turbomeca says the 1,200shp (900kW) Ardiden is based on a “completely different” design concept, based around a gas generator with two centrifugal compressor stages coupled to a single-stage HP turbine. “This configuration gives a low cost of maintenance and ownership,” says programme manager René Rodellar.

Advances include the first use of single-crystal HP turbine blades and new ceramic coatings enabling the HP turbine to run in the initial engine without cooling, yielding a potential 20% of growth.

Source: Flight International