Celebrating the best year in its 67 years of existence, French turbine engine manufacturer Turbomeca now faces the challenge of increasing production output by "more than 40%" in 2005.

Arius turboshaft engine

"This is a record time for Turbomeca," says chairman and chief executive Emeric d'Arcimoles. "We sold 940 engines in 2004 against 480 the previous year, which means we have to build 1,100 engines in 2005."

To reduce the effect of the weaker dollar against the euro, d'Arcimoles reveals that the Tarbes, south of France-based company is embarking on a global production programme which will see engines being built closer to source. Top of the list is the US, Turbomeca's main market.


"Now is the perfect time to invest in North America, where we need to increase our supplier base", he says. The company has begun construction of a new 40,000ft2 (3,700m2) factory at its Dallas, Texas, base, which is due to begin producing Arriel and Arrius engines in 2006.

"Our goal is to build 100% of these engines in the USA," he says. "This will help reduce costs and improve our service."

During the year, Turbomeca, which has 10,000 helicopter engines operating in 140 countries, increased its sales of the Arrius turboshaft on the Eurocopter EC135, where it now claims to hold 66% of the market against the alternative Pratt & Whitney Canada PE206B2.

At the airshow, the company announced an order from Brazil's Corpo de Bombeiros Militar do Distrito Federal to power its EC135s, for EMS, firefighting and environmental surveillance.

Emeric d'Arcimoles

Source: Flight Daily News