Rolls-Royce, widely known for heavy engines, such as the Trent powering the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747, is in fact a pre-eminent provider of business jet engines and claims a 34 percent share of that market. The company delivered 328 engines for corporate aircraft last year, up from 250 in 2005. Rolls-Royce’s involvement with business aircraft began in 1958 with the Dart-powered Gulfstream I twin turboprop.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Engines
News and issues relating to business aircraft turbine engines.
The newest version of the 12,500-pound-mtow Beechcraft King Air B200 already boasts Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, which the smaller 10,000-pound-mtow King Air C90 will get with its latest iteration, the C90GTi. So Hawker Beechcraft is giving the B200 version more power, which incorporates a new, recently certified, derivative turboprop engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada, the PT6A-52.
Business aviation services provider Elliott Aviation is making its EBACE debut this week. The 71-year-old company (Booth No. 1561) is showcasing its range of total aircraft solutions here, including its European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified elite series cockpit upgrades. The upgrade includes installation of Universal Avionics’ EFI-890R large-format flat-panel display and Vision-1 synthetic vision system.
With Europe continuing to be one of business aviation’s key growth markets, it should not be surprising that Honeywell Aerospace has chosen to position its vice president for worldwide business and general aviation sales at one of its main European offices, right here near Geneva.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s (P&WC) progress in developing a powerplant for the proposed Bombardier C Series is contributing to research and development of engines for a future generation of large or heavy business jets.
A titanic battle appears to be shaping up in the 10,000-pound thrust segment of the aero engine market, where there is a need for powerplants to drive the coming super-midsize and large business jets, as well as smaller regional airliners.
Jets for Vets, a new initiative sponsored by an aircraft dealers association, is arranging free flights on corporate aircraft for military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. The goal of the program is to help bypass the military paperwork and delays involved with getting family members to wounded veterans, which in some cases can take up to three weeks.
The pace of new technology infusion in helicopter turbine engines is not slowing.
General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce all have significant civil turboshaft development in progress. Turbomeca has no major program under way, apart from the (mostly military) Ardiden. But the French-based firm has precise views about future key technology advancements.
French engine manufacturer Snecma is making progress with plans to develop a turbofan in the 10,000-pound-thrust class. The manufacturer revealed plans last October to enter the business jet engine market. Design of the Silvercrest powerplant is now well under way, and the core is scheduled to run later this year.
The life of a component supplier is a difficult one in the aerospace and business aviation industries. Being dependent on the airframe manufacturers for business severely limits a company’s ability to expand to new markets. But at least one engine manufacturer is having a good go of it these days.