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WZ8 Turboshaft engine

The turboshaft engine first tried flying in December of 1951. In 1950, French Turbomeca Company researched "Artouste-1" turboshaft engine, which only has class one centrifugal impeller compressor and class two turbine output shafts. The power reaches 206Kw (280 shaft horsepower) and becomes the world first practical elevator turbo engine. Our company introduced AHEYE 1C1 production permit of French Turbomeca Company in 1980, researched WZ8 in 1984 and had formed series with the power 492kW~570kW. Turboshaft 8A aero-engine is manufactured according to the whole set of design, technology, technology, metallurgical standard and specification of AHEYE 1C and 1C1 model engine of French Turbomeca Company.

  • Takeoff power: 526kw
  • Cruising oil consumption: 396g/(kw.h)
  • Total mass with accessories: 118.6kg

The WZ8 engine was made under the licence of the Arriel-1c turboshaft engine from Turbomeca, France. It was installed on the Z-9 helicopter (twin engines). The engine was developed by France in the early 1970s, and delivered for operation in 1978. It was installed in French Ecureuil (single engine) and Dauphin (twin engines) helicopters. The engine had simple structure, big design margin and good reliability. This engine used the modular design, with small size and light weight (118 kg), high power (515 kW, 700 shp), high speed (gas generator rotor at 51,800 r.p.m.). In the design new technologies were adopted such as supersonic compressor, curvic coupling, directionally-solidified superalloy blades, integral structure, thin wall structure and anti-salt corrosion. There are about 50% of the parts made of high temperature alloy and stainless steel. The design and manufacturing techniques are both advanced.

ZEF started to produce WZ8 engine in 1980. The work proceeded in 4 phases: first by using the complete kits from France to do the assembly and test; second by using the French raw material and blanks to produce some modules and together with other modules supplied by France to do the final assembly and test; third by using French raw materials and blanks to produce all 5 modules and then to complete the final assembly and test; fourth all raw materials, blanks, finished parts and accessories would be Chinese. In 1985, an all Chinese made WZ8 engine passed the running tests conducted by the French and the Chinese and then it passed the assessment of various special processes. In June 1987, the French side issued the certification for the manufacturing under licence and also highly praised the quality of the product. Up to 1986, a total of 35 engines were built and delivered to users for operation. According to the offset contract, 40 accessory gear boxes were delivered to France, which were well received. The development of indigenous materials and blanks were also carried out in parallel.

The WZ8 could also be used on armed helicopters. With modification, it could be converted to a turboprop engine for use on commuter airliners and agriculture aeroplanes.

In order to produce the WZ8 engine, ZEF took 12 items.for technical reform, such as heat and surface treatment, physical and chemical metrology, non-destructive testing (NDT), N.C. machining, precision electric spark machining, electronic beam drilling, welding and plasma spraying. They funded the project with loans from the government and money raised by themselves. The Director of the factory, Wu Shenduo, insisted on handling the matter realistically and with careful calculation and strict budgeting. Those they could make themselves and could get domestically would not be purchased from abroad. For instance, the press forming equipment for the jet pipe was originally planned to be imported from abroad, and as it was too expensive, the workers and technicians pooled their wisdom and strength to produce it themselves. They succeeded. For the electron beam welding (EBW) machine, they worked together with BAMTRI, designed and manufactured it themselves, with only a few parts such as the high voltage power supply unit which they purchased from abroad. The performance met the international standards, and thus they saved more than 300,000 US Dollars. For the total technical reform of the factory, only 64 advanced equipments were imported and 35 million Yuan RMB spent, which met the targets.

The accuracy of the finished WZ8 engine was one grade higher than the factory's other products, and the requirement on the integrity of the heat and surface treatment was very strict. Taking the shot peening process as an example, the requirement on the equipment, measuring tools, coverage, strength and finish of the shot peening were very different from the previous processes. Facing the complicated manufacturing techniques, the chief engineer of the factory, Wang Jingtang, and the vice chief engineer Luo Guangyuan led the engineers and technicians to study in depth, testing repeatedly, and solving many technical difficulties such as the machining of the deformable thin wall rings, rolling of high hardness thread, and electric spark forming of deep blind. holes. They became familiar with new manufacturing specifications such as the allowance system and finish standards, and quality control system. The factory made an obvious improvement in technology and management and achieved the capability of producing modern advanced small aeroengines.




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