Turbomeca, the French manufacturer of low-power and medium-power gas turbine turboshaft engines for helicopters, remains hopeful that their Ardinden 3 engine will be offered on the Airbus Helicopter H175 super medium. Currently, the H175 helicopter features Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6 engines. The Airbus H175 helicopter remains as the only aircraft from Airbus Helicopters which is not equipped with an engine from Turbomeca.
Turbomeca has been working to develop their Ardiden 3C for use on a Chinese-built variant of the H175, the Avicopter Z-15/AC352. Test flights as well as integration work has been progressing ever since late 2015 on an early H175 prototype, now referred to as “Z-15 PT1,” at Airbus Helicopters’ facility in Marignane. The chief executive for Turbomexa, Bruno Even, suggested at a Heli-Expo media briefing that the H175 helicopter is a “natural target” for the Ardiden 3.
“When we decided to launch Ardiden 3 our clear ambition was to be able to selected by all helicopter programs in the range of 6-7t,” Even said. “I am convinced that the Ardiden 3 could be a perfect target for this platform,”
as he suggested that the AgustaWestland AW139 might be another good possibility as well.
Program officials at Airbus Helicopters have recently suggested that there is no plan for integration of the 3C while at a recent press event at Marignane. Airbus Helicopters is hopeful that they can match the sales performance of the H175 during 2015 which consisted of 36 orders. Airbus is still working to reschedule deliveries for two early customers who were originally scheduled to receive their aircraft last year.
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