On September 10, Walled Lake, Mich.-based Williams International received FAA type certification of its new 1,568-pound-thrust FJ33-4A. The company will follow this milestone with the introduction of yet another turbofan engine.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) continues to consider a possible new turboprop design that could provide a sufficient advance on the PT6, which through its myriad variants offers 700 to 2,000 shp. However, for the moment at least, the manufacturer sees no immediate prospect of moving on from the ubiquitous powerplant to a new-generation engine in the same power range.
French-based startup company Price Induction, here on Stand A7 in Hall 3, on the eve of the show announced that its small engine, the DGEN 380, has completed its first test phase and reached the target maximum thrust. The 560-pound-thrust turbofan has run some 50 hours on its indoor test bed in Tarnos, in the southwest of the country. Its designers have started it 1,200 times in seven months.
The sturdy Liberty XL2 two-seat light aircraft has the appearance of sports or trainer design not unlike many others. However, an alternative lower fuselage panel also displayed at Stand C706 provides a clue to a different role that the aircraft can perform.
Clifford Development, a Toledo, Ohio start-up, has launched a program to re-engine Citation IIs with 3,000-pound-thrust Williams International FJ44-3 engines with fadec. The company has acquired a Citation II as a test aircraft and expects to obtain an STC within 12 months.
Cessna is halfway through the 150-hour function and reliability (F&R) flight-testing on the Citation Mustang very light jet, the last step before gaining Part 23 type certification, expected in the fourth quarter and possibly beating the Eclipse 500 VLJ to full, unrestricted certification. The TC will include approval for single-pilot operation, operations in RVSM airspace and an airframe designed for an unlimited lifetime.
At AOPA Expo yesterday Piper announced it had selected a variant of the Williams International FJ44-3A turbofan to power its new PiperJet. The Fadec-equipped FJ44-3AP will have a maximum thrust rating of 3,000 pounds but will be derated to 2,400 pounds for use in the new single-engine very light jet. Piper plans to fly the PiperJet in spring 2008 and start deliveries in 2010.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has successfully completed the maiden flight of its PW617F engine, selected to power the Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ).
Eurocopter is concerned that some pilots could confuse different versions of the AS 350B3 Ecureuil single-turbine helicopter that feature different kinds of engine control. In a mixed-fleet operation, a pilot could use an incorrect procedure after failure of the engine control. Older variants of the twist grip power control present greater risk of error, the manufacturer’s customer support department notes.
Engine manufacturers are ready to benefit from the hot market for new business aircraft and helicopters in the coming decades. In addition to established manufacturers–General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce, Turbomeca and Williams–several new OEMs will be introducing their own models to the market.