As unveilings go, it wasn’t in the quite same category as Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.” But on the other hand, displaying a new engine cowling isn’t going to get the FCC coming down on you, and the folks at DynCorp International in Fort Worth and Temsco Helicopters of Ketchikan, Alaska, seemed happy with it.
The event was the unveiling Sunday of a new engine cowling to mark a partnership of the two companies for the installation and certification of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67D turboshaft engine in the Huey 205A-1 helicopter.
The project is going to be a challenge, not the least of which is a cowling design to accommodate the reverse-airflow PT6C-67D engine. It was a matter of airflow management, said DynCorp program manager Bill Schoenberger. The result is an increase in takeoff power from 1,250 shp to 1,290 shp, “And it just plain looks good.” Despite the increase in power, fuel efficiency has been improved by 17 percent, thanks in part to the new full authority digital engine control.
The last component to the upgrade is replacement of the rotors with those of a Bell 212, along with dual-boost collective.
Flight testing is due to begin in late May or early June and certification is expected early next year. Total downtime for the conversion will be approximately 45 days. Cost will be in the $1 million range. DynCorp and Temsco believe there are about 200 Hueys in service that would benefit from the upgrade.