More than 4,000 sq ft of Duncan Aviation’s new 175,000-sq-ft hangar in Lincoln, Neb., is dedicated to engines. “We’ve been in the new shop for only a few months but have already experienced a significant increase in work efficiency and improvement to the safety of our customers’ property,” said James Prater, manager of turbine engine services. “Before the move, all engines and their components would remain subject to being moved in the hangar.
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with an engine it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and likely an eight-blade propeller
Aerion Corp. (Booth 3634) is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent operators survey. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three engines versus two on its now-scrubbed predecessor. It still retains a supersonic natural laminar-flow wing, which it calls “the key enabling technology behind practical and efficient supersonic and high-subsonic flight.”
Most activity in business jet engine research and development is taking place for business aircraft at the top end of the size range. Snecma (Booth 5515) is developing the Silvercrest for the Dassault Falcon 5X, while Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth 3834) has readied a new variant of the PW307 for the newly revealed Falcon 8X. The Québec-based manufacturer is also running the PW800, a demonstrator in the 10,000- to 20,000-lb-thrust range. GE (Booth 5551) is working on its Passport engine for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000.
The FAA is proposing to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines. The proposed AD was prompted by in-service events involving the perforation of engine cases as a result of the liberation of power-turbine blades and the fracture/displacement of the power-turbine containment ring.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
What turned out to be a big week for Boeing with the formal launch of its new 777X widebody also promises to be a big week for the engine that will power it, the GE9X. Dubai Airshow visitors can get a sneak preview of the 102,000-pound thrust turbofan through a new 3-D representation of the equipment at the GE Aviation exhibit (Chalet A9).
Snecma is about to carry out further tests on a one-fifth scale model of an open rotor engine, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be.
The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.