Despite announcing last week that it is laying off 10 percent of its 10,000-strong global workforce because of global recession, aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada remains committed to developing new products, according to company president John Saabas. It is working hard to meet, but not exceed, demand, while continuing to support 44,000 in-service engines.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Engines
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft powerplants.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new 1,000-shp-class PW210S turboshaft engine, which has been developed to power the Sikorsky S-76D and is on offer to other manufacturers for new-build and retrofit applications, is “on track and meeting performance.” The Montreal manufacturer told HAI Convention News that key performance tests had been “successfully completed” as it continues to optimize the engine.
French-based turboshaft manufacturer Turbomeca has completed a European Commission-funded research program that opens the door to a massive collection of usage and maintenance data on helicopter engines. The idea is to have engines sending an exhaustive set of data, after each flight, to a centralized server.
As we round the corner past the U.S. Labor Day weekend, thoughts of cold-weather operation begin to make their unwelcome presence felt, especially among operators of unhangared aircraft. Cranking up a mechanically complex aircraft on a subzero morning can put lifetime-limiting stresses on drivetrains. This is especially true when it comes to rotorcraft, with their high number of crucial moving parts.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new turboprop engine for general aviation applications on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The RR500 turboprop engine is larger than the turboshaft RR300 launched last year and will deliver 350 to 450 shp. Based on the RR300 core, the RR500 features a higher mass flow compressor and correspondingly matching turbine, as well as an exhaust-down configuration, a gearbox and propeller controls.
Agusta has delivered the first A109E Power to be driven by Turbomeca’s newly FAA-certified Arrius 2K1 engines to Erie, Pa.-based aeromedical transport provider Life Star, which operates the aircraft under a lease with CJ Systems Aviation Group of Pittsburgh. A second Arrius 2K1-powered A109E is about to be delivered to Duke University’s aeromed network operating out of Durham, N.C.
Eurocopter now targets late next year as the new certification date for the EC 225. A derivative of the Super Puma, the new medium twin helicopter was originally set to be certified late this year. Major cockpit and autopilot design changes after the program started have lengthened the program by six months.
The chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the chairs of the six T&I subcommittees outlined what they term an “ambitious” program of hearings and legislation for the second half of the 110th Congress.
March 3 is the final date by which the user community can file its comments on the FAA’s Oct. 1, 2007, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the agency’s $2+ billion transition plan to the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s helicopter turboshaft engine business has enjoyed
an unprecedented surge in recent years, thanks in part to the company’s development work on turbofan engines for business jets, company executives said.