LoneStar Propjets of Waco, Texas, has received an STC to replace the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprops on the King Air 90 through C90 series with Prague-designed Walter M601E turboprops and Avia Hamilton five-blade propellers. The converted airplane, known as the “Power 90,” has a “substantial increase in both climb and cruise performance,” according to LoneStar.
Maintenance and Modifications
News and issues about aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), covering all segments of the aviation industry; and modifications for aircraft and engines. Subjects include product support of aircraft, engines and avionics, MRO company mergers, acquisitions, announcements and personnel, Airworthiness Directives, Supplemental Type Certificate approvals and other topics.
Aviation Partners now expects to receive certification of its winglets for the Hawker 800 next May, nearly a year later than originally planned. Failure to obtain certain engineering data from Raytheon Aircraft caused the delay, according to Aviation Partners. The Seattle company claims winglets allow the “Hawker 800SP” to fly 30 min longer or 180 nm further and 18 kt faster than a standard Hawker 800.
A laser-guided, computer-controlled robot that promises to significantly decrease the time it takes to find corrosion and other airframe structural anomalies is under development by Honeywell and London-based BBA Diagnostics. The structural anomaly mapping (SAM) robot is being designed to scan an entire aircraft in three hours.
A more powerful, better-performing Cessna Caravan 208, including improved fuel burn, is the object of a program by Anchorage, Alaska-based Caravan dealer, modifier and maintenance facility Aero Twin to convert the turboprop single from its original 675-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 to the 850-shp Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S.
“We are dedicated to expanding our worldwide Citation product network and doubling the capacity of our Cessna-owned service facilities during the next five years,” according to Cessna v-p of service facilities Jim Morgan.
Executive Aircraft Corp. (EAC), founded in 1974 by Stan Roth, has filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. According to company president Skip Madsen, the move was made necessary by a dramatic decline in aircraft sales.
Aircraft maintenance does not exactly move forward technologically at the speed of light. Instead, it appears the industry is in a constant state of making things incrementally better. A small innovation here, some modification to an existing procedure there, a reemphasis on the importance of service, and the result is that operators get better, faster, more cost-effective maintenance.
Owners of some 360 U.S.-registered Mitsubishi MU-2s would be required to install newly designed torque-tube joints to prevent possible failure of the flap control system, if a recently proposed AD is adopted.
Early next year Boeing will offer a kit for BBJs and BBJ2s that will provide a 6,500-ft cabin at FL 410 instead of the standard 8,000-ft cabin. The kit, which can be installed on green and in-service BBJs, is expected to cost less than $100,000. Components include new cabin-pressure-controller boxes with revised software, a new cabin-altitude indicator and two pressure-relief valves.
Converting a piston twin into a turboprop single may seem like a bizarre idea, but an international team of technicians and engineers in Russia and Switzerland has combined its expertise to produce just such a transmutation. [Beech created the Lightning experimental prototype in the mid-1980s by placing a Garrett TPE331 in the nose of a Baron 58P airframe.–Ed.]