Safran Aircraft Engines has launched a redesign of the high-pressure compressor for the Silvercrest engine, hoping to rescue the propulsion programme, with the fate of the Textron Aviation Cessna Citation Hemisphere hanging in the balance, Textron Aviation executives said at a press conference earlier today.
Textron Aviation and Safran expect to have the data they need to inform a go-ahead decision on the redesigned compressor module by the middle of next year, says Brad Thress, senior vice-president of engineering for the Wichita-based manufacturer.
“That’s when the test rig and the engine will prove itself out in actual hardware and testing,” Thress says.
Textron Aviation, meanwhile, has suspended development work on the large cabin Hemisphere programme while Safran’s redesign effort continues, says chief executive Scott Ernest.
The Hemisphere represents the largest aircraft ever launched by Textron Aviation’s member brands, which since 2014 have included Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft. Company officials have previously said the Hemisphere programme will be shelved if the problems with the Silvercrest cannot be fixed.
Safran disclosed last October that the Silvercrest suffered from response problems at low airspeeds and high altitudes. The announcement prompted Dassault Aviation to cancel the Silvercrest-powered Falcon 5X programme. But Textron Aviation decided to adopt a wait-and-see approach, having invested minimal development resources in the airframe design at the time the Silvercrest’s new issues came to light.
Source: Flight Daily News