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Safran nears certification for Arrano helicopter engine

Safran Helicopter Engines has now accumulated 700h of flight time with its developmental Arrano engine, which will power the Airbus Helicopters H160 medium-twin.

Since the 1,200shp (900kW) powerplant made its first flight in January 2016, the engine manufacturer has amassed a total of 4,000h of testing using 25 engines.

Delivery of the first production units to Airbus Helicopters is due in early 2018, says Safran; service entry for the helicopter is expected in 2019.

Key test milestones passed include blade-out tests and continued operation with no lubrication. In addition, altitude trials were concluded in 2016 at a state-run test centre in Saclay, near Versailles in the north of France.

This year, certification activities have focused on endurance tests, notably in extreme operating conditions.

Although its initial application requires take-off power of 1,200shp, the Arrano was selected on the basis of its growth potential on the H160, says Safran, which advertises the powerplant as spanning the 1,100-1,300shp range.

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