First Maiden Flight of HAL’s Dhruv Helicopter with Ardiden 1H/Shakti Engine

8/20/2007 - The twin-engine Dhruv helicopter built by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), and re-engined with the Turbomeca Ardiden 1H, successfully made its maiden flight on August 16th 2007, in HAL’s helicopter division, Bangalore, India.

The representatives of the Ministry of Defence and many operators present at the occasion were given a clear demonstration of the aeromechanical behavior and the performances of this new-generation engine.

Ashok K Baweja, HAL’s Chairman declared: "After the TM333 2B2, the Shakti engine will further enhance the reliability and performances of the Dhruv under demanding flight conditions."
This maiden flight is to be followed by EASA certification of the Ardiden 1H, planned for the end of the year.

The Ardiden was built to provide a response for missions with the most demanding hot weather and altitude requirements. Developed in cooperation with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under an industrial partnership contract signed in February 2003, this engine combines simplicity, high technology, robustness and modernity, all for an ownership cost far lower than our competitors offers.

The Dhruv features a take-off weight of 5,500 kg. To begin with, it will be operated by the Indian armed forces. In the frame of the contract entered into in February 2003, several hundred engines will be produced over the next 10 years.
The new turboshaft engine is a further addition to the Turbomeca range, already the broadest on the market.

Two turbomeca engines for the Dhruv... The TM 333 2B2, which won its DGAC (French Civil Aviation Authority) certificate in December 2001, was also chosen by HAL to power the Dhruv. It has a take-off power of 1,100 shp. With its simple modular architecture, it boasts the threefold advantage of reliability, easy maintenance and low fuel consumption. So far, HAL has ordered several hundred engines. Today, over 200 engines have been delivered.

The Shakti, fundamentally different in design, offers a take-off power of 1 200 shp, as well as an emergency power superior of 30% compared to the TM333 2B2. The Shakti will have a TBO within a range of 3 000 to 6 000 hours.

So whatever the mission the Dhruv is called on to operate, it will have two engines ideally suited to it, while assuring its performances both at altitude and in hot weather.

The Ardiden 1H engine will be certified in India under the name of “Shakti”.

Source: Turbomeca Press Release

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