This year’s EAA AirVenture coincides with the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic engines ever to power a general aviation aircraft–the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop. To celebrate the event, the United Technologies subsidiary has a slate of events and announcements to take place at the show. Eleven PT6-powered aircraft will be on display in the Conoco Phillips Plaza on Wednesday, July 31, and the company will have several engines including the PT6A-41 and PT6A-65 on display at its booth.
General Aviation » General Aviation Engines
News and issues concerning general aviation aircraft engines (both piston and alternative engines).
Snecma appears to be giving itself more time before beginning flight-testing of its first business jet engine: the Silvercrest. But the apparent delay in what had been projected at last year’s EBACE show as a first flight in the first half of 2013 will likely have little bearing on the certification path for the new turbofan’s first applications.
At Sun ’n Fun 2013 Continental Motors (Booth D-097) announced that it has increased TBO up to 400 hours on its Gold Standard factory-produced engines, which it introduced in 2012. The increased TBO is for nearly all Continental Motors factory-produced engines as designated by Serial Number 1006000 and higher. These engines were produced in February 2012 and beyond. Aircraft owners who operate their engines more than 40 hours per month stand to benefit the most from the TBO extension, allowing them to postpone their TBO time by up to 400 hours.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based FBO Banyan Air Service will be the launch customer for a new ground accident avoidance system. RampTrack, by Wingspan Systems, will help prevent ramp and hangar accidents by tracking aircraft on the ground and issuing a warning if they are at risk of striking a building, another aircraft, vehicle or person. Using redundant sensors, intelligent software and visual as well as aural alarms, the system reduces the chance of hangar rash due to contact with toolboxes or ground tugs while aircraft are being moved or taxiing.
After a year-long flight-test program powering the Thrush 510G agricultural airplane, GE Aviation received type certification from the EASA last week for its M601H-80 turboprop, a more powerful and fuel-efficient upgrade of the M601 engine the company inherited in 2008 when it purchased Czech Republic-based Walter Engines. This marks the first occasion of a GE engine receiving its initial certification from the European agency.
In another sign of China’s growing interest in general aviation activities, the CAAC issued validation of the FAA type certificate for the Superior Air Parts Vantage piston engine. The Vantage is a four-cylinder, 361-cu-in, 180-hp engine available in carbureted or fuel-injected configurations. CAAC officials spent five days conducting an audit and evaluation process at Superior’s Coppell, Texas headquarters.
Parker Aerospace (Hall 5 Stand D264) is featuring its recently developed thermal management and lubrication packages for aircraft engines here at Paris 2011.
The Big Frog racer is getting attention for more than just its tongue-in-cheek patriotic name. The French aircraft is the first carbon-fiber race plane to run on a diesel engine powered purely by jet-A fuel. And it is turning heads here at the Le Bourget show.
Centurion Aircraft Engines’ Centurion 2.0s is now available in Europe as an upgrade through a supplemental type certificate (STC), which covers installing the 155-hp engine on the Cessna 172F through -S models. EASA issued the STC to Centurion on May 21. The 2.0s provides 20 more horsepower than the original Centurion 2.0. It is Fadec-controlled to keep engine parameters within range and is operated through a single lever power control.
The in-development geared turbofan (GTF) has been attracting most of the headlines at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney lately, and it does indeed promise to make a large leap in powerplant efficiency and environmental friendliness when it enters airline service in 2013.