Honeywell Introduces Engine to Meet Helicopter Demand in China

November 11, 2015 | Author: Andy Gill

China’s civil helicopter industry is poised for strong growth. Over the past year, China has seen a 34 percent increase in the number of civil helicopters, according to a report by Asian Sky Group. Airbus®Helicopters predicts China will become the world’s largest helicopter market over the next 30 years, with an expected volume of 10,000 to 15,000 helicopters.

China’s reliance on high performance helicopters is no surprise due to the country’s unique topography, where nearly 70 percent of its land accounts for mountains, plateaus and hills – a challenge for aircraft because high-altitude areas can decrease an aircraft’s engine power due to the thin air. 

China’s strong demand for helicopters is fueled by three key areas: search, rescue and medical services; multi-mission activities such as fighting forest fires; and helicopter tourism. In a region where natural disasters are frequent, including earthquakes and floods, search and rescue services make up a large percentage of helicopter use in China. For example, during the recent Nepal earthquake in April 2015, the Chinese military utilized helicopters to reach altitudes of over 4,000 meters in Tibet to save more than 900 people. At an altitude of this height and with such challenging topography, it is important for helicopters to be able to reach greater heights without compromising payload capability, enabling helicopters to carry more people.

Helicopters are also used for multi-mission activities, such as fighting forest fires, where powerful engines are a must to meet the unique challenges of flying in hot and elevated scenarios. In 2011, Chongqing became the first Chinese city to use a helicopter to fight fires. During the summer of 2011, the city has extinguished 12 fires over a total of 63 days during the summer seasons.

Helicopter tourism is an emerging market in Chinese provinces such as Yunnan and Sichuan and in more than 12 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai where they have started helicopter tours. The increase in demand, coupled with China’s challenging topography creates a need in the market for high-performance helicopters that are able to fly faster, further and higher.

To meet these demands, Honeywell Aerospace is introducing an innovative engine to the Chinese market to transform the performance of helicopters. The latest engine to join the Honeywell family, the HTS900, improves the payload capability of helicopters by up to 40 percent at 12,000 feet, resulting in increased helicopter capabilities. During search, rescue and medical missions, multi-mission activity and tourism missions, the HTS900 engine’s payload enables helicopters to carry more people and fly at higher altitudes.

The HTS900 is designed for power and efficiency. With a dual centrifugal compressor, cooled turbine blades and nozzles, and dual channel full authority digital electronic controllers (FADEC) equipped in the engine, the HTS900 engine has a 22 percent improvement in power output at high/hot conditions over other engines, all while burning less fuel and occupying less space. With its powerful and reduced fuel consumption feature, the HTS900 engine can increase both operational savings and the earning potential of the helicopter. This translates to a helicopter capable of flying faster and further.Selected by Kopter to power the new SH09, these benefits are already being realized during the flight testing phase of the prototype program. 

With fuel efficiency, a small footprint and an industry-leading power-to-weight ratio, the HTS900 engine is capable of meeting the demands of the Chinese market by flying higher, faster and further. Its versatility has allowed companies like Eagle Copters and Air Resources to be powered by HTS900 as their helicopters conduct challenging missions with demanding topography.

Andy Gill

Andy Gill

Andy is the Senior Director of Business and General Aviation, Asia Pacific, Honeywell Aerospace. His responsibilities cover all OEM and Aftermarket activity in China, including commercial helicopters plus the OEM and Aftermarket activity in the rest of Asia Pacific. He is located at Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific regional headquarter campus in Shanghai.

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