Ground trials of the first Silvercrest engine are due to begin this summer as Snecma works to begin flight trials of the business aircraft engine in the first half of next year.

Snecma is providing the engine in an 11,000 lb. thrust version for Cessna’s new Longitude super mid-size aircraft, as well as Dassault’s yet-to-be-announced SMS, which is due to fly in 2014. The Silvercrest design covers a thrust range of 9,500 lb to 12,000 lb. with the SMS version expected to be similar to the Longitude.

Engine certification is planned in 2015, says Francois Planaud, Snecma’s general manager for commercial aircraft engines.

The company will build eight development engines, adds Laurence Finet, the Silvercrest general manager. Flight trials will take place on a company Gulfstream G3.

The engine, with a 5.9:1 bypass ratio, will sport a 42.5 inch diameter fan with 20 wide-chord metallic blades, a high pressure compressor with four axial blisk stages and a single centrifugal compressor. Silvercrest also will have a single-stage high-pressure turbine, a compact four-stage booster and four-stage low-pressure turbine.

A high pressure core demonstrator ran in 2007-2008, with full scale development launched in the third quarter of 2010.

Snecma promises 15% better fuel burn versus current engines, 50% margin against CAEP/6 emissions standards, and up to 20 dB noise margin on Stage 4 noise requirements. Moreover, “we are introducing true on-condition maintenance,” notes Planaud

Snecma sees a market for 1,260 super mid-size aircraft and 1,136 large aircraft through 2021 the Silvercrest can target, says Snecma CEO Pierre Fabre.

Silvercrest is not the only new engine on Snecma’s planning horizon. The aircraft maker also is looking at launching a turboprop development for the 80-90 seat market. Exploratory talks are due with ATR, which is looking at launching such a program, although Snecma’s deliberations go beyond that program.