By Pascal Dauriac, Head of R&T and Future Programs, Safran Helicopter Engines.
The helicopter, like all air transport, is emerging from an unprecedented crisis caused by COVID19, despite very specific types of use. If it did not go through this period in the same way as commercial aviation, it shares with it the same ambition in terms of reducing its environmental footprint and permanently seeking safety. And in a context of strong competition, the challenges of propulsion are numerous: What future for thermal formulas? What place for electrification, new fuels? How to combine technological complexity and economic competitiveness? We will have to implement levers that go beyond the scope of design, exploring the digitalization of manufacturing and maintenance processes and the way of thinking about the service provided to our operators.