StandardAero (Booth No. 899) has received an FAA STC for the King Air 200 that involves removal of the airplane’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-41-series engines and upgrades to more powerful -42 engines.
Despite a softening U.S. economy and soaring fuel prices, demand for business jets and turboprops remains strong, according to the latest delivery report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
I recently had the chance to fly one of the King Air C90s re-engined with two Walter M601E-11s, which are 751-shp engines flat rated to 550 shp for this installation. The airplane we were flying was N800RP, a 1974 King Air C90, S/N LJ-628. Dan Sigl, owner of Seagull Aviation, which is working on a conversion package for King Air 90s and 100s, agreed to bring the aircraft to my home base, Solberg Airport in New Jersey.
Shipments and billings for business aviation jets and turboprops reached all-time highs in the second quarter, according to data released this afternoon by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), while the piston market took a dive.
Clintonville, Wis.-based Performance Conversions has received an STC for installing 751-shp Czech-built Walter M601E-11 turboprop engines and five-blade Avia propellers on the King Air C90-1, C90A, C90B, C90SE and E90. The conversion, approved last April on the basic C90, also decreases cabin noise, takeoff distance, routine maintenance costs and downtime for engine maintenance, according to the company.
Sales of pre-owned turboprop aircraft are a little like the old line, “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
Last year at this time, dealers predicted that the market was facing a rocky ride, with economic storm clouds already on the horizon and the presidential election still not decided. No one had any inkling of just how rocky it was going to become.
While people dealing in pre-owned turboprops are not exactly doing cartwheels over the state of their industry these days, most are optimistic that the downward spiral seems to be flattening out. They cite an apparent leveling of prices, which is bringing buyers back into the marketplace, and more favorable insurance rates.
Two NASA-industry partnerships could produce tangible benefits for aircraft operators in the near term. The turbofan engine research is being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as part of its aerospace propulsion and power program, the same division that Williams International teamed up with to develop the 700-lb-thrust FJX2 turbofan.
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.
The efficiency of the gas turbine engines that power today’s commercial and military aircraft is approaching the highest level possible with current turbofans. But a totally new technology being pioneered by GE Aviation and researchers worldwide promises far simpler, more efficient engines that will extend aircraft range, cut fuel costs and reduce emissions.