Honeywell offers engine upgrades

 - March 6, 2011, 3:50 AM

Honeywell is here at Heli-Expo Booth No. 3021 highlighting engine upgrades for the Eurocopter BK117 and the Bell 407. It has partnered with Airwork New Zealand (ANZ) to offer the LTS101-850B-2 engine to upgrade the BK117-B2 light twin to a BK117-850D2. ANZ received an STC from New Zealand’s civil aviation authorities last May. At last count, Honeywell had shipped 12 engines for six aircraft.

The upgrade offers an economical way to meet new category-A requirements, with improved performance. Compared to the LTS101-750B-1, the beefier engine enables the helicopter to take off with four passengers and two pilots, maximum fuel and 660 pounds of equipment– (instead of no passengers with the -750B-1) at ISA+20 deg C at sea level. This performance is claimed to be even better than that of the EC 145, the latest iteration of the BK117 in Eurocopter’s lineup.

Another version of the LTS101, the -700D-2, is powering the Avicopter AC311 light single, which began flight testing last November in Tianjin, China.

On the Bell 407 light single, Honeywell has partnered with Eagle Copters of Calgary, Canada, to develop an HTS900 engine upgrade. Eagle Copters is leading the upgrade program and is displaying the HTS900-powered 407 here at Heli-Expo. A Honeywell spokesperson told AIN that “the engineering work necessary to integrate the HTS900 into the Bell 407” is complete and flight testing is to begin “this year.” The HTS900 is already FAA-certified.

Honeywell is also working on demonstrator programs which, although contracted by the U.S. Army, could also have civil applications. For the advanced affordable turbine engine (AATE) program, in which Honeywell is partnered with Pratt & Whitney, the two have formed a joint venture called ATEC, which is developing a 3,000-shp turboshaft engine–the HPW3000. The Wichita company also recently completed testing in the small heavy fuel engine (SHFE) program and is “finalizing reports with the U.S. Army,” a spokesperson told AIN.