Today, Turbomeca (Safran) celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first flight of one of its most famous engines – the Arriel. Fitted to a Gazelle airframe, an Arriel prototype took to the skies for the first time on 7 December 1974, from Turbomeca’s flight test center at Pau Airport.
The original Arriel was designed in 1969 by Gottlieb Sporer and its first ground run, at 600 shaft horsepower, took place in September 1973. The first two variants, Arriel 1A for the Dauphin and Arriel 1B for the Ecureuil, were certified in June 1977.
Turbomeca Chairman & CEO Olivier Andriès said, “the Arriel engine has a rich history and there is still so much to be written. By updating it with the latest technologies, it remains a cutting-edge engine”.
During the past 40 years around 11,500 Arriel units have been produced, together logging more than 42 million flight hours. With power outputs ranging from 650 to 950 shp, the Arriel family now powers over 40 different helicopters. Its latest model, Arriel 2E for the EC145 T2, was certified in December 2012 and entered service in August 2014.
An Arriel-powered helicopter takes off every 15 seconds – all day, every day.
Turbomeca (Safran) is the leading helicopter engine manufacturer, and has produced 70,000 turbines based on its own designs since the company was founded. Offering the widest range of engines in the world and dedicated to 2,500 customers in 155 countries, Turbomeca provides a proximity service thanks to its 15 sites, 30 proximity maintenance centers, 18 Repair & Overhaul Centers, and 90 Field representatives and Field technicians. Microturbo, the subsidiary of Turbomeca, is the European leader in turbojet engines for missiles, drones and auxiliary power units.
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