Rolls-Royce yesterday formally introduced the cat that Frank Robinson let out of the bag on Thursday, the Model 300 turboshaft engine that will power Robinson’s five-place R66 and likely other helicopters in its class.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Engines
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft powerplants.
French engine manufacturer Turbomeca is on a mission to increase its worldwide production capacity by 25 percent this year and is shopping for a location on the East Coast to build a U.S. plant, according to a company spokeswoman.
A strengthening worldwide market for civil and military helicopters is responsible for keeping senior executives at engine-maker Rolls-Royce jubilant–but not satisfied.
Looking to the near-term future, Rolls-Royce views unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and emerging civil markets in China and India as the next big growth areas, according to Scott Crislip, president of helicopters and small gas turbine engines for the UK manufacturer.
Jet-Care International of Cedar Knolls, N.J., and its sister company Spectro of the UK and Switzerland, have won multi-year contracts to analyze engine oil and debris. The companies are exhibiting in Heli-Expo Booth No. 709.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has won the contract to power Eurocopter’s EC 175, a new 6.7-metric-ton helicopter that will fill the gap between the EC 155 Dauphin and EC 255 Super Puma. The PT6C-67E turbine engine selected for the helicopter will be the first dual-channel Fadec-controlled PT6 from Pratt & Whitney Canada, noted company president Alain Bellemare.
Keystone Helicopter of West Chester, Pa., has expanded its accessories capabilities on both the Rolls-Royce 250 and Honeywell LTS101 turboshaft engines. According to Ralph Kunz, vice president of the MRO, the company has invested more than $500,000 in tooling and test equipment to become a Honeywell-authorized repair and overhaul facility.
Turbomeca and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon be flight testing their codeveloped 1,200-shp Ardiden 1H (or Shakti, under its Indian designation) turboshaft engine, the French partner announced last month. Certification is pegged for this fall, with deliveries to begin shortly thereafter. Initial applications will be upgraded military versions of the twin-turbine HAL Dhruv. The engine made its first ground run in October 2005.
Honeywell dove back into the civil helicopter business here at Heli-Expo with a series of initiatives it hopes will land it squarely among the major players in the turboshaft propulsion business. Of course, the biggest news came during a Saturday afternoon press conference, when Honeywell revealed that its new HTS900 turboshaft will power the Bell 407X.
Soloy is back.
The new HTS900 turboshaft developed for the Bell 407X has not only thrust Honeywell into the spotlight here at Heli-Expo, it also has given the Phoenix-based company a platform on which to reclaim a place among the major players in the civil helicopter business.