In 2009 the annual Product Support Survey produced by NBAA Convention News’ sister publication Aviation International News Williams International keeps the top slot in turbofans and GE stays last, but otherwise almost all the deck gets shuffled. Among turboprop/turboshaft manufacturers, Honeywell remains on top and Turbomeca falls into last place.
For reasons that are not clear, every engine manufacturer scored fewer points in this year’s survey than in last year’s, something that did not happen with the airframers and avionics makers.
Operators of the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D series engines have a new option when it comes to overhaul. Aviation Turbines International (ATI) of O’Fallon, Mo., has added the powerplant to its hot section and repair services. ATI will be able to perform complete overhaul of the engine as well as accessories, such as fuel controls, bleed air valve, anti-ice valve, motive flow valve, fuel nozzles and fuel pumps.
GP Aerospace, a Brazilian startup company established by former Embraer technical director Guido Pessotti, has revealed to AIN plans for a personal very light jet, which would be smaller than currently available very light jets.
General Electric (GE) has purchased a 51-percent share of Airfoil Technologies International Singapore, a joint venture between GE and Teleflex, for $300 million in cash. GE previously held a 49-percent share in the company. ATI Singapore, which started operations in 1998, is a repair facility for compressor airfoils.
GE Aviation and NASA are to ground test five sets of new subscale blades for open-rotor engines at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The tests will focus on acoustics and efficiency of a two-stage counter-rotating fan. The two partners have high expectations that new analysis tools will add to their understanding of the fan’s aerodynamics.
Price Induction, a French startup company based in Anglet in the southwest of the country, is here exhibiting two engine mockups (Hall 3 Stand A25). The first is its new 570-pound-thrust DGEN 380 turbofan engine and the other is its Taor contrafan concept. Company executives claim to have raised enough funds to complete the DGEN certification program.
Aerion is proceeding with research in the development of its supersonic business jet while it continues discussions with potential manufacturing partners that would lead to a joint Aerion-OEM design study. Aerion’s hope is that this design study, essentially the nine- to 12-month proof-of-concept phase of the program, would result in a decision by the partners to proceed with full-scale development and production of the Aerion SSBJ.
The in-development geared turbofan (GTF) has been attracting most of the headlines at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney lately, and it does indeed promise to make a large leap in powerplant efficiency and environmental friendliness when it enters airline service in 2013.
It seems unlikely that new engine architectures such as the geared turbofan or the open rotor will make it to business aviation in the near or even mid term. According to engine manufacturers, these concepts are not suited to the needs of business aircraft, which require a lot of thrust during almost the entire flight.