Kestrel Aircraft, the startup aircraft manufacturer headed by Alan Klapmeier, moved into a temporary facility in Superior, Wis., this week. In January, Kestrel Aircraft announced plans to relocate its headquarters and new production plant for its K-350 single-engine turboprop in Superior on land adjacent to Richard I. Bong Airport. It will begin construction of its permanent facility there soon.
GE Aviation and France-based Aeromecanic have signed an agreement for Aeromecanic to become an authorized service center (ASC) for the M601 and H80 turboprop engines. The ASC designation allows the MRO to offer comprehensive line maintenance, removals and re-installations of engines and LRU, on-wing heavy repairs and manage a pool of spare/rental engines for the Western Europe and North Africa region. GE Aviation will provide Aeromecanic with material support and training.
Air-Tec Aviation Maintenance signed an agreement to be a GE-authorized service center for the M601 and H80 turboprop engines. Air-Tec will offer comprehensive line maintenance, removals and re-installations of engines and LRUs and engine spares for both engines. In addition, Air-Tec will provide some on-wing heavy repairs and manage a pool of spare/rental engines for the African region.
The FAA has adopted a new Airworthiness Directive for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-15AG, -27, -28, -34, -34AG, -34B and -36 turboprop engines. It requires the removal of certain affected PMA replacement Timken Alcor Aerospace Technologies first-stage reduction sun gears and/or the interacting planetary gear sets from the propeller reduction gearbox assembly.
After a year-long flight-test program powering the Thrush 510G agricultural airplane, GE Aviation received type certification from the EASA last week for its M601H-80 turboprop, a more powerful and fuel-efficient upgrade of the M601 engine the company inherited in 2008 when it purchased Czech Republic-based Walter Engines. This marks the first occasion of a GE engine receiving its initial certification from the European agency.
Turbomeca plans to reduce the specific fuel consumption (SFC) of its turboshaft engines by 37 percent by 2030, and at the Helitech 2011 show discussed the strategies it is implementing to accomplish that change. While the company plans to make changes to the engine machinery, it expects much of the reduction to come from engine-airframe integration and new practices that make more efficient use of the engine.
GE is here with three major programs at various stages of development. The Passport 20, for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 large-cabin business jets, has already passed some rig tests. The GE Honda HF120, for the HondaJet and the (currently suspended) Spectrum Freedom, is scheduled for certification in 2012. Meanwhile, the HF80 turboprop is due for certification later this year.
Australia-based GippsAero launched a stretched turboprop derivative of its piston-powered GA8 Airvan, in addition to expanding its footprint in North America. Certified production of the GA10 turboprop single is expected to begin in 2013.
A second test flight of the X-51A WaveRider has not gone according to plan. Successfully dropped from the left wing of a B-52H Stratofortress, and then accelerated to over Mach 5 by a solid rocket booster, the unmanned, scramjet-powered, hypersonic vehicle crashed in the Pacific Ocean off Point Mugu NAS, Calif. on June 13
On Monday at the Paris Air Show, HyperMach Aerospace Industries plans to unveil a “next generation” supersonic business jet (SSBJ) that can fly from Paris to New York in 1 hour 45 minutes.