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Frank A. Jones
Frank A. Jones
Manager, Business Development

PBS SAFIR - Auxiliary Power Unit


The auxiliary power unit (APU) is used to start the main engines and for pre-flight preparation of helicopters and aeroplanes. During flight, it serves as an auxiliary source of power if the main engine fails. PBS has been developing and manufacturing turbine power units for over 50 years. During this time, almost 6,000 APUs had been installed. It is one of 4 companies in the world that holds EASA certification for development, production, and maintenance of APU for the aerospace industry.

APUs are essentially turbine engines that are started via the built-in electric starter. After start-up, they generate electrical power to the main on-board systems during pre-flight preparation. They also generate compressed air to start the main engines and deliver clean air for the air conditioning. After starting the main engines, the APU is in most cases switched off and serves as a back-up source for possible emergency situations.

Civil and Military Helicopters
PBS’s SAFIR APUs are installed in different configurations in several types of both civil and military helicopters. They are applied, for example, in the Z8 civil helicopter fitted with American-made engines or in the Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 transport helicopters which are amongst the most successful helicopters all over the world in terms of the number of units sold and the number of countries they fly in (more than 60 countries).
The existing PBS APU configurations guarantee continuous operation for up to 6 hours. In the power category up to 100 kW, they are among the global leaders, as evidenced, among other things, by EASA's repeatedly updated DOA, POA and MOA certificates.

Training and Light Combat Aircraft
The SAFIR-type APUs has also been used in several types of training, light combat airplanes. One of the the significant applications is the L-159 ALCA aircraft which is also used by Draken International to train American pilots. PBS APUs have also been installed in the L-39 Albatros aircraft which is one of the most widespread jet trainers in the world. It enjoys great popularity in civilian aerobatic flying industry in the US market, where more than 250 Albatros planes are currently in service. PBS is just involved in development of several systems for the new generation of the L-39NG aircraft.

Quality, flexibility in development and a high level of customer service reassure long-term customers and users about cooperation on dozens of other development projects currently being implemented by PBS, including in the area of development and production of small jet engines.

APU Development Possibilities for New Installations
PBS has the technological background, development and testing capacities; and it is open to opportunities to modify the PBS SAFIR for new applications and installations. PBS’s APUs are particularly suitable for civilian and military helicopters, training and light combat aircraft and business jets. Applications in land-based military or marine applications are also feasible.

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