Microturbo tests new auxiliary power unit family

By Kate Sarsfield

Microturbo has begun the first test runs of its e-APU family of auxiliary power units, which is designed to deliver additional electrical power required by business aircraft and helicopters.

This first start-up marks the beginning of the test campaign that began on 22 December at Microturbo in Toulouse. "We have succeeded in reaching this milestone following a development phase that has taken only 15 months from the preliminary design review," says Microturbo chief executive Jean-Louis Chenard. "The results of these initial tests are in line with our forecasts."

Development tests will focus on the e-APU's ability to start up at 41,000ft (12,500m) and operate to a maximum attitude of 51,000ft.

The first version of the e-APU will be capable of generating 15kW of electrical power at 28VDC for the starter generator and 45kW of auxiliary power at 115VAC/400Hz. Ultimately, it should be able to generate up to 90kW, with low emissions and a small acoustic signature of less than 70db. Certification and first deliveries are scheduled for 2012.

Microturbo, part of the Safran group, says it has received considerable interest in the e-APU, with two undisclosed aircraft programmes already signed up.

The French company has developed APUs for Dassault's Falcon jets, as well as for several military aircraft and various helicopters. Microturbo also makes small turbojet engines for unmanned air vehicles.

© Reed Business Information 2009

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