Help make engines lighter, greener, and more economical
Record level of investment
To fuel its ongoing development, Safran Aero Boosters is currently investing record amounts in research and development programs and industrial equipment.
Safran Aero Boosters is currently carrying out 4 development programs for low-pressure compressors and equipment for the LEAP and CFMI engines (to equip the future A320 NEO, B737 Max and the Chinese C919), Safran Aircraft Engines's Silvercrest (to equip Cessna Citation Longitude), General Electric's GE Passport (to equip the Bombardier Global 7000-8000) and General Electric's GE9X (to equip the B777x).
An industrial investment plan
To prepare the production site for the new programs currently under development, Safran Aero Boosters is investing over €100 million to purchase new, ultra-modern, semi-automated production equipment and extend its infrastructure.
Research and Technology programs
Research and Technology programs aiming to offer engine manufacturers approved and tested solutions for next-generations engines.
The vast majority of investments for the future are into studies and research primarily concerned with reducing fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions and aircraft noise.
Lightly does it
Safran Aero Boosters is actively involved in several European and regional research programs to meet the European Union's environmental objectives for air traffic. The ultimate goal is to create lighter, more compact low-pressure compressors with optimized aerodynamic performance.
We're pouring a considerable amount of resources into developing lighter, higher performing products and maintaining our edge on the world market.
Safran Aero Boosters's workshops, engineering offices and support functions apply the combined expertise of men and women with highly specialized and complementary skills. These teams harness their multidisciplinary skills to design cutting-edge technologies that are then tested, produced and assembled on site. Techspace Aero promotes this innovation by filing some twenty patents every year.
Safran Aero Boosters is working with Safran to implement a continuous professional improvement program that sets out what actions are needed to progress and gets all staff involved in innovation. There are almost limitless possibilities for improvement, ranging from faster and better design, new production methods, "Leaner" flows, reduced waste, new sourcing options, streamlined processes and more efficient use of new investments, all of which are essential..
We need to fulfill three closely related conditions to ensure future success. We need the best product, we need sufficient profits to finance our investments, and we need to continuously improve.
Inventing the technology of the future
As a trusted technological partner, Safran Aero Boosters provides engine manufacturers with ground-breaking technologies in its fields of excellence, in order to rise up to the main challenges facing the aerospace industry.
Safran Aero Boosters has spent the last few years developing a low-pressure compressor that is 15% to 20% lighter that the current model. The booster of the future is built around a drum comprising several stages of friction-welded blades, dubbed BluM®. This is completed by two composite half-shells with set-blade stages replacing the current stators.
Building the next-generation of compressors
To be ready for future engine architectures with high bypass ratios that are set to come into service in the run-up to 2025, Safran Aero Boosters is working on a compressor that will operate twice as fast as the current model, feature higher compression ratios and weigh less: the high-speed booster. The new type of booster will run at about 10,000 rpm, compared to 4,000 rpm for LEAP engines, and involve developing radically different mechanical and aerodynamic technologies.
- 10,000 rpm (versus the LEAP's 4,000 rpm) at cruising speed
- Mach 1.2 at the blade tips at the first low-pressure compressor stage (versus 0.6 on LEAP engines)
In the face of an increasingly competitive satellite launch market, reducing maintenance and operating costs of the European Ariane launcher has become a pressing priority. To help achieve this, Safran Aero Boosters's engineers and technicians have designed a fully electrical valve to fit out the Vinci engine. This technology, which regulates the oxygen/hydrogen mixture ratio, provides more accurate regulation and greater flexibility than the pneumatic valves currently in use. It regulates hot gases at temperatures of up to 660°C and at pressures of up to 125 bars. Lastly, it helps to reduce the need for helium, a rare natural gas used to activate the current valves.
Vinci, Ariane's future engine
The Vinci engine is designed to power the upper stage of the upcoming Ariane 6 launchers. Rated at 18 tons of thrust, the engine incorporates a number of advanced technologies, to combine reliability, performance and cost-effectiveness. Its ability to be reignited multiple times in orbit in particular, will allow customers to deploy new orbital injection strategies, tailored to different satellites, while also deorbiting the upper stage after its mission. The qualification is planned in 2017.
green test facilities
The Test Cells teams of Safran Aero Boosters are currently looking into solutions to reduce fuel consumption in test facilities and, at the same time, recover some of the energy produced by the engine so it can be converted into useful energy rather than letting it escape as heat while testing. Solutions include automating engine control so the required test cycle can be monitored closer, and recovering the thermal energy from the exhaust gases to heat a water circuit. Or, when turbine engines are being tested, the kinetic energy from the shaft line can be recovered by a dynamo and used to produce electricity.