The technology stakes are high for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X twinjet, but GE Aviation believes its big bet on the weight savings to be delivered by unprecedented use of composites is about to pay off. The U.S. engine maker, which currently holds orders for some 600 of the engines, is leaving nothing to chance and, with more than two years of technology maturation behind it, the company is now stepping up its test program en route to certification in 2018.
While 3-D printing applications in aerospace remain limited to relatively small and simple parts, Honeywell engineers believe the technology carries potential in the manufacturing of a critical engine component: turbine vanes.
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.
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.
Dallas Airmotive unveiled its new logo here at NBAA 2013. Using the company’s traditional red and blue colors, the new logo morphs spinning turbine engine blades into the shape of a Phoenix.
On September 12, Europe’s EADS unexpectedly assigned a schedule and a market segment to its “E-Thrust” hybrid propulsion concept, which was revealed at the Paris Air Show this year with Rolls-Royce. The “E-Airbus,” under its new moniker, is to enter into service in 2030 as a regional aircraft, probably a 70- to 100-seater. The announcement came during a conference organized by the French government in Paris about its industrial policy.
Pilatus said here at LABACE yesterday that it will deliver three more of these PC-6 Turbo Porters to Brazil this year, having delivered only one since certification in the country in 2011. The Swiss manufacturer is emphasizing the single turboprop’s short takeoff and landing performance, pointing out that it can operate more economically than helicopters and with superior payload. Maximum payload is 1.2 metric tons, maximum range is 870 nm and this can be achieved operating out of an airstrip shorter than 1,500 feet (440 meters).
EADS is demonstrating here at Le Bourget a number of electric- and hybrid-propulsion technologies developed under its commitment to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions. In cooperation with Royan Aero Composites, EADS has developed and built the E-Fan fully electric general-aviation training aircraft and, separately, has engineered with Diamond Aircraft and Siemens the Diamond Aircraft DA36 E-Star 2 hybrid-electric motor-glider. EADS also cooperated with Rolls-Royce on the future distributed-propulsion system concept, and all three projects are dubbed “E-aircraft.”
Duncan Aviation has appointed Shawn Schmitz to the position of turbine engine tech rep for Honeywell and Rolls-Royce engines. Schmitz joined Duncan Aviation in 2001 after serving six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed in Yuma, Ariz., with two deployments to Japan. He most recently served as the team leader for the Duncan Aviation engine line shop.
Aerometals has received PMA approval for spiral bevel gears for the main rotor transmission of the MD500. According to the company, the approval marks the first time the FAA has granted manufacturing approval for transmission gears to a company that is not the OEM. The testing required a test stand using a 500-hp electric motor instead of a gas turbine. The MD transmission is rated for 425 hp for up to five minutes, but Aerometals ran the gears for eight hours at 467 hp to satisfy FAA testing requirements.
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