NBAA feedback: Cédric Goubet reviews Silvercrest program status
At the NBAA business aviation trade show in Las Vegas from November 17 to 19, Cédric Goubet, Executive Vice President of Snecma's Commercial Engine division, discussed the Silvercrest engine program.
What's the current status of the Silvercrest development program?
We have been carrying out extensive ground and flight (FTB) tests of the Silvercrest for a number of months. This engine was selected for Dassault Aviation's new business jet, the Falcon 5X. All of these tests, some under extreme conditions, have confirmed the good operational performance of the engine, based on over 3,200 hours of testing, including 310 hours in flight. However, tests over the last six months have nonetheless showed the need to carry out additional development work to extend the engine's operational life and performance. In particular, this will entail achieving better control over case distortion due to very high temperatures. Neither the integrity of the engine, not its ability to meet certification requirements, have been called into question.
We are working closely with Dassault to redefine the schedule for certification and entry into service. Our aim is to finalize this schedule by the end of the year.
What is Snecma's position concerning the repositioning of the Cessna Citation Longitude?
Cessna selected the Silvercrest in 2012 for its future Citation Longitude business jet. At the time, this aircraft was to be the largest in the Citation family. Since then, Cessna has revamped its Citation family of business jets, resulting in a repositioning of the Longitude as a smaller, shorter-range plane, with an associated significant reduction in the thrust requirement. As announced by Cessna, the Longitude will now be equipped with an engine developing 7,550 pounds of thrust. So the Silvercrest, rated at 9,500 to 12,000 Lb, was no longer suited to this new project. In other words, this major change in Cessna's product policy, decided over a year ago, has no relationship with current developments in the Silvercrest program.
Cessna also announced its Hemisphere project, which will be the top of the Citation range, and is slated for a first flight in 2019. Cessna indicated that it is working actively with Snecma to evaluate how well our Silvercrest engine matches the expectations of customers for this project.
What are the other possible applications for the Silvercrest?
In addition to Cessna's Hemisphere project, our development in the business aircraft market continues to be a strategic priority for Snecma. Our objective is to develop a family of engines to address this market's long-term requirements. Our engineering, production and commercial staff are more than ever committed to this key program. And we are fully confident in the technical and business success of this engine.