The Microturbo (Safran group) e-APU60 has successfully completed its first flight tests as part of the AugustaWestland AW189 helicopter certification campaign. Initially designed for new-generation more-electric business jets, the e-APU60 is a new concept of auxiliary power unit characterized by an excellent power-to-weight ratio and its exceptional compactness. It also meets the high demands of new-generation helicopters.
The successful in-flight start of the e-APU60 is an important milestone in the test campaign: it is now a part of flight safety (civil certification), with its own reliable capability of restarting the main engines in flight (if necessary) and of enhanced operation providing an additional spare source of power required to cover all electrical needs throughout the flight envelope.
“We and our customer are satisfied with the results obtained during the first in-flight tests of this new concept of power source”, declares Pierre-Yves Morvan, CEO of Microturbo. “The performance achieved by the e-APU60 is up to par with the ambitious goals we set ourselves”.
The e-APU60 also ensures the ground start of the main engines, supplies power for the electrical systems and provides air for the helicopter cabin air-conditioning.
Alongside the flight test campaign, e-APU60 certification is going to schedule. Two further development engines will soon join the five other ones and take part in the particularly rigorous test plan which will run throughout the year. The objectives of these tests are: to simulate the most extreme operating conditions compared to those encountered in normal commercial operation, and to validate the reliability and endurance of the system.
EASA certification of the e-APU60 is expected within one year.
Source: Safran S.A. (Paris: SAF.PA)
Date: May 13, 2012