Almost a year after first unveiling the deal, GE Aviation last month announced the completion of its acquisition of Prague, Czech Republic-based turboprop engine maker Walter Engines. The new GE division will operate as Walter Aircraft Engines.
If you had just bought a $23 million corporate jet, do you think the manufacturer would tell you if it knew the airplane had a potentially dangerous mechanical problem? When a dozen professional pilots were asked that question, each responded in the affirmative. “Of course–the OEMs are required by law to disclose that sort of thing,” one said. But the truth isn’t quite so simple.
Germany’s MTU Aero Engines has taken an 18 percent stake in the GE38 turboshaft engine powering the Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion heavylift helicopter, marking its first entry into a U.S. military engine program. Under the agreement, MTU, which has previously manufactured components only for U.S. military engines, will have responsibility for the power turbine module.
Testifying before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on air-quality standards for lead, AOPA executive v-p of government affairs Andy Cebula warned that any immediate changes to current aviation fuel standards would have a “direct impact on the safety of flight and the very future of light aircraft in this country.”
Pratt & Whitney Canada announced last year at NBAA 2000 that it had embarked on development of a new line of turboprop, turboshaft and turbofan engines, the PW600 series, spanning a power range from 1,000- to 3,000-lb thrust (500- to 2,000-shp), and a demonstration program for geared turbofan engine technology.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 463) now has two major new business aircraft powerplant programs underway, with Bombardier having just selected it to provide the PW308B turbofan for its new Learjet 85 model. Meanwhile, detailed design work has begun for the PW810 engine that will drive Cessna’s new Citation Columbus large cabin aircraft.
UK-headquartered Spectro, and Jet-Care, both divisions and trading names of Palace International, Ltd. (Booth No. 1523), have returned to EBACE with their largest ever range of performance monitoring programs, focusing on the Pratt & Whitney Canada series of small turbofans and turboprops. At the same time, Jet-Care is highlighting its condition monitoring service, which it now is offering to helicopter operators.
Turbine-engine technology development is going in two directions. One is the development of new technology to push the envelope of performance, operational safety, maintainability and reliability. The other is to refine and update existing engines for long-term use, especially in light of more stringent Stage 4 requirements and existing Stage 3 rules.
The biggest engine deal of Farnborough 2002 was undoubtedly FedEx’s selection of the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 engines to power its 10 A380 cargo megaliners. Though the value of the contract was not disclosed, it gives the Pratt & Whitney/General Electric joint venture parity in the A380 powerplant race with its Rolls-Royce rival.
Honda Aero held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new engine plant in Burlington, N.C., on November 28. The plant will assemble and test new GE Honda Aero HF120 turbofans selected to power the HondaJet and Spectrum Aeronautical’s