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Leonardo AW189K flying with new Safran Aneto engine

Leonardo and Safran Helicopter Engines have revealed the AgustaWestland AW189K and Aneto-series of turboshaft engines, respectively. The newly launched AW189K super medium twin-engine helicopter with the Safran Aneto-1K, which has an output of 2,544 shp.

In Leonardo’s press release, the Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters Gian Piero Cutillo stated:

“We are pleased that the AW189K will be the first helicopter to feature an Aneto engine. This new turboshaft engine will offer our customers a high level of performance and further extend the capabilities and versatility of our super medium platform, particularly in hot & high conditions. Operators will also benefit from Safran’s longstanding experience in the helicopter market as well as from its strong worldwide support network.”

Bruno Even, the President of Safran Helicopter Engines added:

“With the Aneto engine family we are today bringing to the market a new generation and competitive engine solution for the super medium and heavy helicopter market, offering a new level of performance coupled with reduced operating costs.”

Leonardo states that the Aneto-1K-powered AW189K undertook its maiden test flight on 09 March 2017 at the company’s Cascina Costa facility in Italy. It added that the AW189 is slated to receive European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in Q4 2018.

Introduced in 2014, the AW189 is a series of civilian variant of the AW149 military multi-role helicopter, itself a stretched variant of the AW139 utility helicopter. Leonardo reports that 30 AW189s are in service worldwide, cumulating 25,000 flight hours. Agreements are in place for a total of more than 150 AW189s.

The AW189 and AW149 have maximum take-off weights of 8,300 kg and 8,600 kg, respectively. The AW189 and AW149 are powered by the General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engine, with the AW189K opening an alternative with the Aneto-1K.

The Safran Aneto-1K belongs to the Aneto-family, which Safran intends to build with several models with power-outputs from 2,500 shp to 3,000 shp. The Aneto-1K comprises of a four-stage compressor (one centrifugal and three axial stages) with a combustion chamber built from 3D-printed components (Flight Global). It also has a dual-channel full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) system.

In Safran’s press release, Safrna Helicopter Engines’ President said:

“Today we are in position to bring to the market a new generation and competitive engine solution for the super-medium and heavy helicopter market, ready to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2018. We are convinced that Aneto will offer a new level of performance coupled with reduced operating costs”.

Like the AW189K, Safran intends to achieve EASA certification for the Aneto-1K in Q4 2018.

Notes & Comments:

The AW149 and AW189 are marketed as analogous alternatives to the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter in both military and civilian users. Though powered by the GE CT7, which is the civilian variant of the GE T700, the Aneto-1K provides an alternative free of U.S. international trade regulations. It is not known if Leonardo and Safran will transition the AW149 to the Aneto-1K, but the linkage between the two companies should give prospective customers an indication that this could be possible provided it is funded.

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