HAI Convention News

Honeywell, Soloy team on AStar STC

 - September 28, 2006, 2:26 PM

Honeywell (Booth No. 1907) and Soloy (Booth No. 2207) have obtained an STC to install Honeywell’s latest version of the LTS101 turboshaft engine on the Eurocopter AS 350B2 AStar, and have delivered the first two converted helicopters.

The LTS101-700D2 engine upgrade will give the modified AStar, designated the AS 350SD2, a 14-percent increase in sea-level standard-day takeoff power (18 percent in hot-and-high conditions) compared with the LTS101-600A-3A in a previous Soloy conversion of the AS 350B2.

Doug Kult, Honeywell sales director for light utility helicopters, said the LTS101-700D2 is designed to the same power level as the AStar’s original Turbomeca Arriel 1D1, but with improved specific fuel consumption and reliability numbers. In this application, the -700D is derated to the AStar’s 641-shp maximum transmission power limit.

Honeywell attributes the improvements to a new, cooled gas producer (GP) turbine that ups GP disk life from 6,500 to 15,000 cycles, and an updated, proven reduction gear from other LTS101 models. These changes cumulatively reduce power turbine cycles by 35 percent and increase torque limits by 6 percent, Honeywell stated.

Soloy completed the new engine installation at its Olympia, Wash. facility and accepted 18 orders before Heli-Expo’06. Soloy booked six more on the first day of the show. “We anticipate producing more than 30 conversion kits this year,” predicted Soloy CEO Dave Stauffer.

Before Heli-Expo, Grand Canyon Helicopters chairman Elling Halvorson took delivery of the first AStar converted under the STC, and on Sunday Ross Scott, of Sunshine Helicopters on Maui, Hawaii, became owner of the second.

Soloy and Honeywell are also offering the LTS101-700D-2 upgrade with an option to purchasers for the helicopter service plan (HSP) price-per-flight hour program. Honeywell said it has continuously improved the LTS101 engine family through infusion of technologies and upgrades. This has produced a claimed four-fold improvement in reliability since 1996 while unscheduled removals and warranty claims have fallen to the lowest levels in the engine’s history.