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Ardiden 3C engine on track for Chinese/European certification
WZ16/Ardiden 3C © Safran Helicopter Engines

Ardiden 3C engine on track for Chinese/European certification

The Ardiden 3C/WZ16, which is being developed by Safran Helicopter Engines and Chinese partners, will be the first helicopter engine to be certified by both CAAC and EASA.

Safran Helicopter Engines reports that it has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) engine type certification for its Ardiden 3C. The engine, which powers the Avicopter AC352, has been jointly developed and built by Safran Helicopter Engines, along with Dongan and HAPRI, which are members of the Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) consortium.

The AC352 is a new 7t twin-engine, multi-purpose rotorcraft jointly developed by Avicopter and Airbus Helicopters, and designated H175 by the European firm. The two partners signed a 20-year agreement in 2014 covering shared production of around 1,000 machines in France and China. The two versions are equipped with different engines — the H175 is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C67E.

Known in China as the WZ16, the engine should be certified by CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) in September 2019, a few months later than initially planned. The Ardiden 3C/WZ16 will be the first helicopter engine to be certified by both CAAC and EASA.

The Ardiden 3C/WZ16 is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700 to 2,000 shp power class. It features a compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and a low cost-of-ownership. Compared to engines operating in the same power range, it offers 10% lower fuel consumption.

The Ardiden 3C flight test campaign started in December 2016 with the AC352’s maiden flight. Another variant, the Ardiden 3G, has also been selected by Russian Helicopters to power its Ka-62, which made its first flight in May 2017. The Ardiden 3G was certified in June 2017.

Since first ground tests of its two variants, the Ardiden 3 range maturation and certification campaign has accumulated more than 10,000 hours of trials, ensuring a high level of maturity at entry-into-service.

The Ardiden family also includes the Ardiden 1, which offers 1,400shp with growth potential to 1,700shp. Over 250 Ardiden 1s are currently in service on India's Druhv, LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) and LUH (Light Utility Helicopter).

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