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.
France-based engine manufacturer Snecma has reported “positive results” for the first 35 ground test hours of its Silvercrest core engine. In an unusual move, the company has begun the test program without announcing a launch application for the new turbofan, which is targeted for applications on future super-midsize to large business jets. The core engine achieved “all the expected performance objectives” for these combustion trials.
Boeing 737s, including the derivative BBJ, have been hit by another emergency AD affecting the twinjet’s fuel pumps. The latest directive (AD 2002-24-51) results from overheating pumps and requires affected aircraft to continue to carry the same minimum fuel quantities as required by the September 30 emergency AD dealing with chafed pump wiring.
MITSUBISHI MU-2B-60, FERNDALE, MD., MAY 14, 2004–At 7:24 a.m., Mitsubishi MU-2B N755AF, operating as Epps Air Service Flight 101, was destroyed when it crashed in Ferndale while approaching Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). The ATP pilot was killed. VMC prevailed for the flight, which had been operating on an IFR plan from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
BBA Aviation-owned engine repair and overhaul company Dallas Airmotive plans to open a regional turbine center next month at the Washington County Airport just south of Pittsburgh. The 5,300-sq-ft facility initially will provide hot-section inspection services for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops and JT15D turbofans, as well as fan repairs on JT15Ds and power-section repair on PT6As.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion on Sunday announced at the Dubai Air Show that it is now accepting letters of intent for a “limited number” of early delivery positions for its 12-seat supersonic business jet (SSBJ). “Market demand has driven our decision to begin accepting deposits,” said company vice chairman Brian Barents.
Snecma’s half share in the PowerJet SaM146 turbofan may represent the Safran Group’s biggest contribution to the Sukhoi Superjet project, but nearly a dozen other subsidiaries are supplying equipment and services for that airplane.
The PowerJet SaM146 turbofan that France’s Safran is showing in scale model form here at the Dubai Air Show (Stand W510) represents not just the application of engine subsidiary Snecma’s CFM56 experience to a regional jet-size engine but one of the most ambitious attempts yet to combine the strengths of Western and Russian aerospace technology.
The debate about the design of future commercial aircraft engines broadened this year as concerns mounted over the effect aircraft engines may be having on global warming, while the cost of aviation fuel rocketed and noise became ever more of an issue.
Emergency AD 2003-08-52 was issued last month for the GE CT7-9B turboprop in response to 12 compressor-stall events in Saab 340Bs over a six-month period. The stalls occurred when pilots throttled back from takeoff power to climb power. Nine of the events involved engines that had the compressor variable geometry (VG) rigged to N1, one of two allowable rigging options that affords slightly higher performance at the expense of stall margin.