Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
Raisbeck Engineering’s swept-blade “turbofan propellers” for the King Air 200 series are now approved in Brazil after the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) granted certification late last month.
A spokesperson for Raisbeck Engineering told AIN, “There are about 500 King Airs in Brazil alone, making it a major market for us. We hope that the swept-blade prop reenergizes our presence in the South American region and we’ll be focusing a lot of our attention on the market as it continues to grow.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., will incorporate five turbofan components from previously repaired engines, a donation from Snecma America Engine Services (Sames), into its aerospace and mechanical engineering programs.
The donated items (a fan shaft assembly, thrust bearing, compressor rotor shaft, fuel manifold ring and high-pressure turbine rear shaft) came from a CFM56-5A, the engine that powers single-aisle aircraft such as the Airbus A319 and A320. The components will help expand engineering students’ understanding of turbine engines.
The price of maintaining Rolls-Royce Spey engines, which power the Gulfstream II and III, has dropped dramatically over the last several years, according to MRO shops and operators. Gulfstream made 460 GIIs and GIIIs between 1966 and 1987, but operators increasingly are scrapping them in response to rising fuel prices and more stringent anti-noise requirements that will require the installation of hush kits or restrict operations.
Snecma appears to be giving itself more time before beginning flight-testing of its first business jet engine: the Silvercrest. But the apparent delay in what had been projected at last year’s EBACE show as a first flight in the first half of 2013 will likely have little bearing on the certification path for the new turbofan’s first applications.
Despite some vacillation on the part of airframe OEMs still studying the form their respective 90-seat turboprop might finally take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s engine offering continues on what company vice president of marketing Richard Dussault called a critical path leading to expected launch next year.
Raisbeck/Hartzell swept-blade “turbofan propellers” entered service this month on a King Air B200. This aircraft is also the first installation of the Epic Platinum Performance Package with the new swept-blade props.
Many cockpit crewmembers believe the ingestion of ice crystals by a jet engine is essentially harmless if the engine’s igniters are turned on. However, aeronautical engineers generally do not agree, citing incidents when mixing ice with standard intake air resulted in a noticeable reduction in engine power output and, at its worst, a complete engine flameout. Ice formation inside an engine compartment can also lead to indicator anomalies that may not shut down the engine, but may lead to air data system failures.
“No traditional business jet will take you closer to the speed of sound,” promises Gulfstream in an announcement about its recently certified G650, which boasts a maximum velocity of Mach 0.925.
Missouri senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat) hit the nail on the head when she wrote to the FAA about easing rules on the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in aircraft. Her letter seeks to have the FAA reconsider restrictions on PEDs, citing as one example the fact that many airline pilots are now using switched-on iPads during taxi, takeoff and landing without any problems.