New Honeywell president will see AS907 to market

 - October 11, 2007, 10:57 AM

Russell Turner, a former top executive for Boeing’s United Space Alliance business in Houston, is the new president of Honeywell Aerospace’s $4.7 billion Engines, Systems and Services division. He assumed his duties at Honeywell on June 1, taking over from interim president Mike Redenbaugh, who returns to his previous job at the Phoenix company’s propulsion systems business.

Since 1998 Turner has been president and CEO of United Space Alliance, overseeing day-to-day operations of elements of the space shuttle and international space station. Before that, he was vice president and general manager of Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power, another Boeing-owned space shuttle contractor.

Turner holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in experimental psychology from the University of California Fullerton and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He taught general psychology, experimental design and statistics at the University of Idaho before pursuing his career in business.

Responsibility now falls to Turner to shepherd the AS907 turbofan engine program through the final stages of testing in anticipation of FAA, JAA and Transport Canada certifications of the AS907-powered Bombardier Challenger 300. The engine itself gained FAA certification on June 25 last year.

Honeywell delivered its first AS907 integrated propulsion system to Bombardier last month, an assembly that included the 6,500-pound-thrust turbofan engine, its nacelle, accessories and thrust reverser. The first production turbofan engines are scheduled for delivery to Bombardier by year-end. The AS900 series– which also includes the AS977 version developed for the now-defunct BAE Systems Avro RJX regional jet– has accumulated more than 26,000 test hours, and Honeywell expects to log a further 3,000 hours by the time the AS907 enters service on the Challenger 300 (formerly the Continental).

Bombardier has flight tested 10 AS907s during the Challenger 300 certification program, logging 2,500 engine flight test hours. Guaranteed performance figures for the airplane have all been met, according to Challenger 300 program manager Robert Seto–this in spite of a max ramp weight increase of 1,000 pounds, attributed mainly to the addition of extra components and fuselage insulation. Transport Canada certification of the airplane was expected late last month. This milestone was to be followed by FAA certification possibly as early as this month and JAA certification late this summer.

Newest TFE731 Entrant
Another major endeavor under way at Honeywell is the testing of the TFE731-50 powerplant, essentially a TFE731-60 with a clipped fan that offers up to 4,900 pounds of takeoff thrust and features integrated nacelle and thrust-reverser systems. The new turbofan is scheduled to achieve certification early next year.
While no launch airplane has yet been announced, the most obvious retrofit candidates include the Falcon 900 and Falcon 20, Hawker 800 and 1000 and Learjet 60. Honeywell plans to pursue STC applications for the new engine in partnership with service centers.

The TFE731-50 is a derivative of the current -60 production engine that uses a common core and a scaled wide-chord damperless fan. The engine maker expects that the -50 will enter service with a 3,000-hour hot-section maintenance interval and a 10,000-hour compressor-zone interval.

Besides featuring a fan that is a half-inch shorter than that of the TFE731-60, the -50 will draw on several technologies used for the existing -60 engine, including the N1 digital electronic engine control system, single-crystal blade material in the high-pressure and first-stage low-pressure turbines and more effective cooling for the vanes and blades.