Microturbo has just successfully started up the e-APU on the test bed. These initial tests are a significant step towards completion of the program, for which the milestones have been completed on schedule. This new auxiliary power unit concept is specially designed to meet the requirements of new generation business aircraft and helicopters which will need more electrical power.
This first start-up marks the beginning of the test campaign which was initiated Dec. 22 at Microturbo’s facility in Toulouse. The core engine, installed on a special bench, reached its nominal speed on Dec. 31. The analysis of the results of these initial tests confirms the good dynamic behavior of the machine, in compliance with objectives set during the design phase.
This test program will continue throughout 2009 in order to validate the performance of the unit on the ground and at altitude (reaching 51,000 feet in flight with a start-up ceiling of 41,000 feet), and also its mechanical and vibratory performance.
"We have succeeded in meeting the milestone of this initial run following a development phase that has taken only fifteen months from the preliminary design review, thanks to the dedication of our teams, partners and suppliers. The excellent results of these initial tests are in line with our forecasts and give us a great deal of satisfaction," says Jean-Louis Chenard, chief executive officer of Microturbo.
The e-APU concept is based on a streamlined architecture with a two-stage axial turbine and a high-pressure cycle, based on proven technologies which are the result of expertise acquired within the Safran Group. Delivering electrical power ranging from 15 to 90 kWe, the e-APU offers significant benefits compared to current auxiliary power units in terms of endurance, reliability, power-to-weight ratio and environmental friendliness.
The e-APU has already been retained for two programs. Its complete certification and first production deliveries are scheduled for early 2012.