Safran Aircraft Engines will undertake a crucial test next year on a redesigned high-pressure (HP) compressor for its Silvercrest engine as it works to tackle performance issues discovered during early flight trials.
Speaking this morning, Safran executives stressed that the troubled engine programme will be back on a firmer footing, following yesterday’s vote of confidence by NetJets with its deal for 150 Silvercrest-powered Cessna Citation Hemispheres.
“In September, we welcomed the Textron and NetJets teams in our Villaroche facility… and we had the opportunity to have a deep dive on the Silvercrest programme,” says Olivier Andriès, Safran Aircraft Engines chief executive. “This visit was part of the join that led us to yesterday’s announcement.”
A year ago, it emerged that the Silvercrest had suffered response issues at low airspeeds and high altitudes, prompting Dassault Aviation to cancel the Silvercrest-powered Falcon 5X programme.
The future of the all-new Hemisphere is dependent on the compressor redesign being a success.
“In the summer, we completed detailed definition for all the new stages of the HP compressor,” says Michel Brioude, Safran’s general manager Silvercrest programme.
“We are on track to run a component test in the second quarter of next year, and the result will come in June,” he notes.