Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is releasing results from recent flight tests of a natural laminar flow (NLF) wing test article this week here in Las Vegas, while the company continues to work to have its supersonic business jet enter service in 2020. The goal of these tests was to measure “real-world robustness” of supersonic NLF, which is a key technology for the Aerion SSBJ, in regards to surface quality and manufacturing tolerances.
Rolls-Royce is preparing technologies for the next generation of business jet turbofans and the design engineers’ motto seems to be “smaller, faster, leaner.” Karsten Mühlenfeld, Rolls-Royce executive v-p of engineering and technology for civil small and medium engines, provided AIN with details on future designs that will feature swifter development cycles, near-perfect reliability and reduced acquisition costs.
Timken, known for manufacturing precision roller bearings for a variety of industries, is highlighting its wide range of aerospace products and services at the NBAA show (Booth No. 1327), in particular an expanded turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability.
A day after watching Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G engines lifting Bombardier’s new CSeries airliner for its long-awaited first flight on September 16, Pratt & Whitney Canada president John Saabas told AIN that the new turbofan’s PurePower technology PW800 cousin will soon be delivering the same step change in operating efficiency and low noise to the business aviation sector.
The new Sikorsky S-76D medium twin recently performed high-altitude takeoff and landing tests at Colorado’s Lake County Airport, the helicopter manufacturer announced last week. The trials, which took place at almost 10,000 feet msl, were part of a so-called envelope-expansion program.
Snecma plans soon to start another phase of open-rotor engine testing using a one-fifth scale model, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be. The concept, based on contra-rotating high-speed propellers, may not find itself in service before 2025. Nevertheless, trials aimed at cutting noise while retaining the huge efficiency advantage of the open rotor’s architecture are well under way.
GE Aviation started testing its new fourth-generation composite fan blades for the new GE9X turbofan, the company announced last week. Chosen to power the new Boeing 777X, the 100,000-pound-thrust-class engine promises a 10-percent fuel burn improvement over the GE90-115B–the engine that powers the Boeing 777-300ER.
Raisbeck Engineering’s swept-blade propellers for 200-series King Airs have been certified by the EASA, adding to a previous FAA approval. Thanks to a higher blade sweep and increased propeller diameter, the new propellers provide for quieter operation and increased thrust, according to Raisbeck. They provide more than 1,090-feet improvement in published FAA takeoff performance compared with the OEM propellers, Raisbeck said. Deliveries of production swept-blade propellers began in the U.S. in March.
Aero engines continue to represent “a robust investment opportunity” for those trading in the market for leased spares, according to the International Bureau of Aviation (IBA). However, the UK-based consultancy’s 2013 Engines Value Book, published last week, shows significant variations in engine values and shifts in demand for leased powerplants.
Parker Aerospace and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) held a contract-signing ceremony just ahead of the Paris Air Show to form two joint venture companies in support of Comac’s new C919 program.